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NAICOM sets January 2023 deadline for insurance firms



By Asishana John

The Commissioner, National Insurance Commission, Mr Sunday Thomas, has said NAICOM will enforce full compliance with the International Financial Reporting Standards 17 on January 1, 2023.

Thomas spoke while delivering his speech at the Insurance Director’s Conference in Lagos.

He said, “I want to urge you also to follow up on the implementation of the International Financial Reporting Standards. IFRS 17 in your companies. The implementation dateline of 1st January, 2023 is right before us.

“Sufficient capacity building engagements have been conducted and sub-working groups inaugurated to facilitate the migration. You are therefore required to ensure that your entities are in full compliance and ready for the dateline.”

On the issue of development of insurance in the country, he urged the directors to work closely with their management as a lot was expected from them at the top level.

He said the commission was working assiduously to open up the market particularly the retail end, and conducting engagements with various agencies and state governments on the need to boost insurance culture across the country.

However, he added that the supply side comprising the insurance companies must also be proactive with follow ups in these places.

Thomas said, “If the industry is desirous of having significant impact on the nation’s Gross Domestic Product, it therefore must take retail business seriously. This has to start from the policy level and the directions clearly spelt out.

“This also must be supported with massive awareness campaign about insurance products across the geo-political zones taking into consideration peculiarity of each of the regions.”

The commissioner noted that one issue that had been setting the industry on a reverse gear in its developmental efforts is the issue of claims settlement.


NAICOM warns Insurers against dealing with unlicensed brokers, agents



The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) on Friday warned insurance operators against dealing with unlicensed brokers and agents to facilitate insurance businesses.

Mrs Ebelechukwu Nwachukwu, Chairman, Sub-Committee on Publicity of the Insurers Committee,said this while briefing newsmen on the outcome of the committee’s meeting in Lagos.

Nwachukwu, also Managing Director of Royal Exchange General Insurance, stated that NAICOM observed the practice during the ongoing Risk Based Supervision(RBS) in  some insurance companies.

“The  regulator spoke to us very strongly, to ensure that all the agents and brokers we deal with  are licensed up-to-date or renewed, as against doing business with brokers with expired licences or unregistered agents.”,she said.

According to her, NAICOM also recommended self regulation to  underwriters, regarding  RBS.

The sub-committee chairman disclosed that NAICOM directed that boards of the various underwriting firms should approve  and implement whistle blowing policy  in their respective companies.

Nwachukwu said the  committee also agreed on the need for the insurance industry to increase awareness on annuity and continue to build trust to ensure that the product line grows significantly.

“With the amount of fund in the pension industry, we should expect a lot of that to be downloaded into the insurance industry through annuity,” she said.

The sub-committee chairman revealed that NAICOM also expressed concern over the backlog of unpaid claims and charged the defaulting insurers to settle all outstanding claims as soon as possible.

She said that the committee resolved  that the unpaid claims should be publicised on the platform of the Nigeria Insurers Association(NIA) for first three months to encourage those with  lodged claims to come for it.

“After the three months and we see that the impact is still outstanding, companies may be mandated to do own  publicity.

“A lot of unpaid claims have been reported, but supporting documents were not provided, and as such they remain as outstanding claims for so many years,”she said.

According to her, the insurance operators further discussed the need for NAICOM to continue to engage the National Assembly to ensure the passage of  Consolidated Insurance Bill .

Nwachukwu noted that insurers had  also begun  the process of harmonising the ECOWAS  Brown Card to ensure that the same certificate is issued across all countries using the brown card.

She said the insurers also took a presentation from KPMG, as part of its planning for the insurance industry’s 10 years Transformation Roadmap.

According to the managing director, eight pillars were proposed to the insurance industry as part of the roadmap, which include: continuous improvement of the regulatory environment.

Nwachukwu said as part of the proposal, Risk Based pricing and Risk Based capital would become paramount.

She stated that increased awareness and improvement in market conduct and ethics was proposed as part of the transformational roadmap to the future that the industry desires.

The sub-committee chairman said that the presentation also suggested more partnership with non-insurers players, just as it is done in the banking industry.

She stated that the insurers were charged on digitalization and improvement of talents pool of the insurance sector and  supporting national economic growth plan.

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Tony Elumelu proposes increase in capital base of life insurance companies to N20bn, non-life to N30bn



By Matthew Denis

The Chairman of Heirs Holding Group and United Bank of Africa (UBA), Chief Tony Elumelu has proposed an increment for the capital base of Life Insurance companies to N20billion and that of Non Life Insurance to N30billion.

He made the disclosure during his keynote address at the opening session of the National Insurance Conference held in Abuja.

Delivering his speech, Elumelu said, “I propose we should increase the capital base of insurance companies to N20billion for life and N30billion for Non Life.

“We review the dichotomy in insurance authorisation, licences between the Life and Non Life while consolidated operators should have N50billion and let us use regulation to shape behavior and enforce compliance.

Elumelu tasked the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) to focus on substance and things that shape the sector. He urged the regulator to focus on more important aspects of regulations and save taxpayers money for more catalytic action.

He advised all insurers to mandatorily contribute 0.5 percent of their revenue to drive industry awareness for five years which the Nigerian Insurance Association should administer professionally.

“Insurance broker capital base should be increased to N1billion and the regulator should allow the brilliant minds to come into the insurance sector thereby limiting years of experience to technical areas,” he said.

According to Elumelu, “With the right foresight and enabling environment, we shall see the transformation of the insurance sector in Nigeria. Let us emphasise that the regulator and the government have a critical role to play in ensuring that insurance becomes the right of every citizen in the country.

“In a society where the people are not insured they are exposed to financial uncertainties which do not only affect them but entire families and communities.”

Elumelu urged all hands to be on deck to reassure and eliminate the stifling policies, roadblocks and complacency in the insurance system by encouraging innovation and simple accessibility not as an option but a fundamental right to secure the future.

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Yobe Govt tasks NAICOM to make insurance attractive to Nigerians



The Yobe state government through the Commissioner of Housing and Urban Development, Arch. Ahmed Buba Abba has tasked the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) to formulate policies and Programmes that will make the insurance sector attractive to Nigerians.

The Honourable Commissioner who represented Governor Mai Mala Buni made the disclosure while making his Goodwill message at the Gala Nite of the ongoing National Insurance Conference held at Continental Hotel, Abuja on Tuesday.

Speaking at the event, the Commissioner acknowledged the relevance of the conference for all stakeholders to come and deliberate on issues affecting the insurance sector and proffer positive solutions, policies to enhance the Sector.

According to him, “The insurance sector is very critical as it serves as coverage for clients during emergencies both in the public and private sectors.

“The regulators in their capacity are doing their best but we task them to enhance publicity and formulate policies so that more Nigeria citizens especially the youths can take the advantage in keying into the sector.”

The Commissioner also added that he will speak to the Governor for the state to draw a roadmap for a working relationship so that the people of Yobe state can benefit from the insurance sector.

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