Major stakeholders in the insurance industry have lauded the National Insurance Commission, NAICOM for the sustained pressure on government to protect its assets that let to directives of Presidency to the Head of Service, HoS, to work with the industry regulator to ensure adequate protection of government’s assets.
They maintained that it was a good development for the industry, adding that they would maintain a wait and see attitude because such directive was made in the past but was not honoured.
The Presidency had directed the HoS through a letter signed by the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari. The HoS was directed to coordinate all relevant permanent secretaries and Heads of Extra Ministerial Departments to ensure compliance with the NAICOM Act 1997.
An industry manager in reaction said this is a welcome development for the industry, however, we have on records similar directives in the past to the HoS, but was not honored, and perhaps this time around the government will make a change of attitude to the industry.
The insurance regulator based its action on NAICOM Acts 1997 in a notice requested details of all insurance policies in respect of all government assets and liabilities as at February this year.
The act mandates the commission to ensure adequate protection of government assets as well as advise the government on all insurance related matters.
Besides, the commission had put in place necessary machinery to effectively discharge the function, to ensure proper protection of public assets and value added transactions for the government.
“Pursuant to the exercise of the powers conferred on it by extant laws, the commission hereby requests all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government to furnish it with details of their insurances.
“They requested information that will enable the commission to keep accurate data for effective tracking of insurances of government property and assets and assist in ensuring their conformity with appropriate insurance principles,” they stated.
The Nigerian Insurers Association, NIA, the umbrella body for the underwriting companies said that the need for government support in the insurance industry was long overdue.
“Over the years many diverse claims running into billions of naira such as victims of severe floods, motor accident, fire accident, to claims emerging from explosions, and air clashes have tested to the resilience of the insurance industry to meet obligations to policyholders.”
For instance, the association said in 2011, the underwriting firms paid N70.71 billion for individuals and corporate policyholders in 2012, the claims payment went up to N71.209 billion, and in 2013, it increased to N89.945 billion.
The Director General of the association, Sunday Thomas, said from our statistics is an evidence that our members have an obligation to restore clients to good standing after a loss. Also, the NIA encourages member companies to pay all genuine claims expeditiously.

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