Minister urges NAICOM to leverage technology for revenue generation
Worried by Nigeria’s current financial challenges, the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has been tasked to use technology and its newly commissioned portal to quickly address government’s dwindling revenue profile across the board.
The commission had in July 2009, embarked on a comprehensive computerisation effort tagged, ‘’Project e-regulator’’ that was meant to transform its operational procedure and conduct of its regulatory responsibilities. This led to the unveiling of the portal.
The Minister of Finance, budget and Planning, Dr. Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed made the call in Abuja at the commissioning of NAICOM portal in Abuja.
Ahmed equally urged the commission to ensure that the portal is connected to other government database like the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) NIN Database, Nigeria immigration Services (NIS) passport database, Nigeria Integrated Customs Information System, Federal Road Safety Corps [FRSC], the National Vehicle Identification System as well as the National Vehicle Registry among others.
The Minister said, ‘’In addition, NAICOM Portal must also serve as the central database and sole repository of all insurance data connected to government database in the country,’’
She said there is no doubt that the unsatisfactory responses to settlement of claims by underwriters have greatly contributed to the prevailing poor public perception and lack of trust and confidence in the insurance industry.
She lamented that the current insurance penetration, a measure of the contribution of insurance to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 0.88 per cent for 2021 is very low, stressing that this indicates a low insurance sector development contribution to the national economy.
She argued that this also shows that there are abundant opportunities for growth in the market while there is also a need to develop new innovative products based on data and customer preferences and introduction of new channels of distribution beyond the traditional channels to reach new segments of the market.
While congratulating NAICOM management and stakeholders for the launch of the portal, the Minister said there is also the need for cooperation with other agencies of government to enforce compulsory insurance in the country.
In his welcome address, the Commissioner for Insurance, Sunday Thomas assured that the completion of the portal will enhance and facilitate efficiency, faster processing and also ensure there is effective real-time communication between NAICOM and the applicant.
Thomas explained that the portal also provides a platform for interconnectivity by all industry stakeholders to support real-time aggregation of data on policies at the time of underwriting and policy issuance, adding that each policy will be issued with a unique policy ID that will be associated with the policy for the lifetime of the policy.
He said: ‘’The portal is presently made up of four systems which include, the Policy System, Licencing System, Complaints Management System, and the Regulatory Returns and Financial Analysis.
He further disclosed that it is expected that the challenges of poor insurance penetration, public trust and confidence in insurance and inadequate real time statistical data of the insurance industry will be resolved through the efficient deployment of the portal.