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Relicensing prospects for insurance brokers dim




Re-registration fees to cost N2.75 million
THE prospects of reprieve for 108 insurance brokers operating in the country whose licences were revoked by the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) over compliance issues may meet brick wall as the commission has rolled out stringent re-registration conditions.

Specifically, an insurance broker whose licence has lapsed and wishes to re-register under the same name would have to pass through seven phases of requirements, including payment of non-refundable fee of N250,000.

Besides, the application for re-registration (if appeal is sustained by the commission), with payment of N250,000. If after passing the seven phases of re-registration requirements the application succeeds, the broker has to pay license fee of N2.25 million, apply for NAICOM’s approval of the members of the board of directors before new licence can be considered.

However, the Chief Executive Officer of an insurance brokerage firm in the industry who pleaded anonymity when contacted said “the action of the commission was long expected, it is doubtful if the appeal of the council will be accepted for the fact that there are over 500 insurance brokers in the industry and less than 40 per cent of operators have met conditions stipulated by law to practice insurance broking in the country”.

Nevertheless, the President of the NCRIB, Emmanuel Kayode Okunoren, said at a press conference in Lagos “suffice it to say that the NCRIB is not happy that any operator in the market will continue to flout regulatory requirements as enshrined in the law. However, the council on my assumption of office, made a representation to the commission on this and sundry issues for which we got assurance of support from the commission. Whilst we are still looking at opportunity to assist those with minor infractions by interceding for them in NAICOM, we have equally made this clear to our members that the regulatory environment of today requires more discipline than hitherto and that compliance issues must no longer by treated with levity.”

A source in the commission said “we have, however, witnessed some measure of impunity by our colleagues who see some of our gentle actions as signs of weakness. Besides, the effort on the regulators, market indiscipline is now threatening the stability of most companies and the prosperous future that our environment has provided.

“We have seen insurers destroying tariffs that were established to ensure they have strong financial bases. The insurance brokers are also not left out in these malpractices. Some of them even operate without proper documentation and in some cases mislead the public by presenting different sets of documents for different purposes. They operate as if there are no laws or rules or that these do not matter. They are willing compliances in any unprofessional act as long as they get appointed. It is time to put a halt to all this indiscipline if we are to move forward.”

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