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NAICOM expresses concern over obsolete insurance laws, seeks urgent amendment

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The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), has reiterated the call for the amendment of some obsolete laws governing insurance practice in Nigeria in line with current realities.

The Acting Commissioner for Insurance, Sunday Thomas, made the call at a retreat organised by NAICOM for members of the House of Representatives Committee on Insurance and Actuarial Matters, in Uyo, Akwa Ibom, over the weekend.

He said the laws needed to be amended to meet with international best practices.

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Thomas said: “The Commission, as a statutory regulatory agency, derives its power from the National Insurance Commission Act 1997, and the Insurance Act of 2003, to primarily oversight insurance practice in Nigeria.

“I believe this gathering provides me the opportunity to bring to your attention the fact that these laws in some of its provisions are fast becoming obsolete and thus require urgent amendments.

“It is imperative to note here that a bill to amend the insurance laws has been in the works for some years now. We are, however, optimistic that when the bill is eventually presented to the 9th Assembly, it will enjoy accelerated attention.”

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He noted that Nigeria’s insurance sector had two segments of underwriters comprising insurers and reinsurance companies, and intermediaries which include brokers, loss adjusters, and agents.

He said there were 55 insurance companies, two re-insurance, two micro-insurance operators, as well as over 500 insurance brokers, and 2,000 agents operating in the country.

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The Chairman, House Committee on Insurance and Actuarial Matters, Darlington Nwokocha, said when compared to the international community, the nation’s insurance industry still has a lot of catching up.

“In spite of the fact that we are lawmakers, we have the sole responsibility to defend the laws we make. There are certain ingredients in the law that find little hitches for proper implementation.

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“Certain infractions are being ignored, and some of the stakeholders and operators now find it more or less like a rule or norm without considering the infractions.

“There are loopholes they may rely on to give it a different interpretation, but as a responsible House, we are trying to make sure that the content of every act is defined appropriately.

“The committee will find it interesting for us to kick-start the process of the amendment of the Insurance Act, and to give it quickly and accelerated attention and passage.

“We are ready; one thing is sure, there is a common denominator, which we must make sure we hold tenaciously, and that is making sure that Nigerian economy revolves effectively within the plan of the insurance industry,” he explained.

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