THE absence of a strong legislative framework in tune with modern business practice is one factor militating against aligning the nation’s insurance industry to global best practices.
Commissioner for Insurance and chief executive National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), Alhaji Mohammed Kari, said this at the 2nd National Conference of the National Association of Insurance & Pension Correspondents (NAIPCO) on “Legislation of Insurance: Intrigues, Interest, Governance and the People”.
Kari said that the present leadership of NAICOM has embarked on some positive steps in order to promote the quality and efficiency of the insurance industry, for the benefit of insurance consumers and the Nigerian economy.
Kari said the insurance industry needs laws that conform to modern practice and laws that take into account the potential role or impact of insurance on policyholders, insurers, regulators and government.
But he also stated: “In recent years, we have had legislations in Nigeria which have inadvertently inhibited the growth of insurance and its contribution to the nation’s Gross Domestic Products.”
He further stated: “Only a few years back, the workmen compensation which is a product of the insurance industry anywhere in the world was severed by legislation, notwithstanding the resistance and position of insurance operators to the new legislation.
“The conflict of interest created by that legislation still lives with us. Of course, we are aware of the legislation that equally severed pension from insurance.” Kari recalled that the Commission had made several attempts to review the Insurance Act 2003 without much success.
“At the birth of this administration, the Federal Government in February 2016 through the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, constituted a ten-member committee to review the Insurance (Consolidated) Bill, a move that seeks to make the bill conform to the ideals of contemporary insurance practice and also aimed at ensuring an efficient and effective insurance industry in the country,” he said.
Kari added further: “The proposed insurance bill when passed would ensure that policies are up to date and implemented in a timely fashion, maintain high standards in the authorisation, supervision and good conduct of insurance business, maintain a cost-effective support system which appropriate to needs, is sufficient to support the regulatory and other responsibilities of the Commission without compromising regulatory impartiality.”