NAICOM executes regulatory initiatives to boost insurance sector

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The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) stated in Lagos on Saturday that it would continually execute its various regulatory and market development initiatives to raise standards in the sector.

Commissioner for Insurance, Mr Sunday Thomas said this at a 2022 seminar held for newsmen covering the insurance sector.

He said that the insurance sector in Nigeria must develop innovative products, distribution channels and embark on massive infrastructure development.

He added that stakeholders in the industry must improve on social safety net schemes, rejig business continuity plans, create new experiences that add value and deploy technology to meet the expectations of today’s consumers.

Thomas said that some of the initiatives of NAICOM included engagement with stakeholders and state governments to ensure domestication of laws to ensure compliance with compulsory insurances.

He said the engagements were targeted at improving insurance businesses in the states.

The commissioner added that NAICOM was also driving the Market Development and Restructuring Initiative to promote compulsory insurance products.

Thomas said that NAICOM also engaged in Feasibility Assessment for Index Based Risk Transfer Solution in the agricultural sector, driving financial inclusion via focused insurance awareness campaign for the financially-excluded.

He noted that the Commission had unveiled the Insurtech Accelerator platforms under its Insurance Market Development programme in conjunction with Financial Sector Deepening-Africa (FSD-Africa).

Insurtech, the global insurance accelerator is a mentor-driven business accelerator designed to foster innovation in the insurance industry by supporting Insurtech start-ups targeting the global insurance industry.

According to him, the Commission is in an on-going partnership with the Nairobi-based FSD-Africa in developing a Risk-Based Capital Model for Nigeria’s insurance industry.

Established in 2012, FSD-Africa is a non-profit company limited by guarantee in Kenya. It is funded by UK Aid as a specialist development agency working to make finance work for Africa’s future.

Thomas said NAICOM would continue to promote the development of products and business models that met the needs of the financially- excluded.

It would also promote actuarial capacity development programmes and risk-based supervision regime and regional integration, he said.

Thomas added that NAICOM had also set up the insurance sector committee on African Continental Free Trade Area among others.

He said that since disruption was integral in modern business environments, innovations being implemented by the Commission were meant to gain control of specific untapped segments of the market.

Thomas said that the Commission also encouraged the introduction of products that met consumers’ tastes in order to grow insurance businesses.

He said also that the global business environment would continue to grapple with the lingering effect of the COVID-19 pandemic and the on-going Russia-Ukraine war that had impacted negatively on world economies.

“’A lot of us are still struggling with what has changed and how to really sort facts from fiction in the environment, considering the rates of inflation and foreign exchange,’’ Thomas noted.

He stressed that because of security challenges insurers could help to alleviate inherent risks facing insurance consumers and be sources of long-term funding for capital projects.

Thomas assured that as regulators, NAICOM would continue to consolidate on government’s cardinal agenda of developing the market and fostering insurance-inclusion with mutual collaboration of the media and other relevant stakeholders.

He said the seminar was specially organised considering a lot of changes in the business environment in the last few years.

The theme of the seminar is: “The Future of the Nigerian Insurance Sector in a Shifting Landscape’’.