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NAICOM rallies National Assembly to insurance potential, growth

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Acting Commissioner for Insurance, National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), Sunday Thomas, has urged the National Assembly (NASS) to support the commission to the bid to tap the full potential of the industry, and in turn, increase contributions to the economy.
   
Thomas stated this at a retreat for the House Committee on Insurance and Actuarial Matters in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, stressing that the Commission had hitherto been hindered in its various efforts to implement provisions of the current insurance laws by a number of challenges, which are not within its control.

He said: “We believe that going forward and in view of our renewed collaboration with the National Assembly, relevant security and sister agencies, enforcement of compliance with the laws will become much easier in no distant time.”

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Thomas said the insurance industry in 2019 had a provisional gross premium income of N490.99 billion, claims of N330.37 billion, premium retention of N376.07 billion, and invested N1.13 trillion.
   
According to him, there is no denying the fact that there are indeed some cases of delay in the payment of claims by some operators, but be assured that the Commission addresses such cases as soon as they are brought to its notice.

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For this reason, the Commission has strengthened its Complaint Bureau Unit, to effectively address consumers’ complaints within the shortest possible time.
   
He said NAICOM had, as a matter of deliberate policy, adjusted its strategy to focus more on developmental issues than compliance issues going forward, in the overall interest of all stakeholders, stressing that the foundation to the successful implementation of its initiatives in this regards is being laid.

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“In 2009, the Commission launched the Market Development and Restructuring Initiative (MDRI) project aimed at a comprehensive pursuit of the development of the industry as well as ensuring full compliance with extant Laws in respect of compulsory insurances. The first phase of the project was successfully carried out in all the six geo-political zones in the country.
   
“The second phase of the MDRI project will soon be unveiled and it will mark out clear targets and tasks for all stakeholders in the industry. The Commission is committed to vigorously pursue the continued implementation of Compulsory Insurances to which collaboration and support from all stakeholders are key towards achieving the desired goal,” Thomas said.
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He noted that as part of the Commission’s effort to develop the market, it has commenced the process of attaining the full digitisation of insurance business in Nigeria, to keep tab with current realities.

He posited that there is no hiding the fact that the industry is lagging behind other financial services sectors, and in this regard, NAICOM is now more prepared to drive the information technology revolution in the sector starting with itself.

It is also is working assiduously to see that all its operations are done online and real-time by digitalising its processes and encouraging the industry to imbibe same, adding that appropriate steps are being taken to launch the Commission’s portal, which will go a long way in blocking leakages in the sector.

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