The Nigeria Police is about to foray into the insurance market with the approval of the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba to establish the Nigeria Police Insurance Company (NPIC)
When incorporated and awarded a licence by the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), the NPIC will manage the Police insurance policies to maximise the welfare interests of police personnel that are constantly being exposed to occupational hazards.
The Nigeria Police is already playing in the banking sector where its Nigeria Police Microfinance Bank has become very prominent, and having an insurance company may be a boost for the institution that already has a huge risk to underwrite considering its large operations and personnel.
Until the recapitalisation programme of NAICOM that was to end in September 2021 was halted by legal action, players in the industry were expected to increase their capital requirement to over 300 per cent.
Under the aborted exercise, the commission had ordered life insurance firms to meet a minimum paid-up capital of N8 billion, up from N2 billion while general insurance companies were to increase their paid-up capital to N10 billion, from the earlier N3 billion.
Composite insurance (life and non-life operators) were asked to increase to N18 billion from the previous N5 billion while the minimum capital ordered for reinsurance businesses is N20 billion, representing 100 per cent of the N10 billion obtainable in the past.
However, with the Risk-Based Supervision (RBS) model currently being implemented in the market by the commission, companies will be required individually to capitalise based on their risk appetite and vision.
“NAICOM is in the process of strengthening its regulatory oversight and risk management capabilities that will improve its internal capacity for assessment of emerging risks”, stated Sunday Thomas, commissioner for insurance at the 2022 annual business outlook seminar of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN) held in Lagos. This position was also reaffirmed at a meeting with the media in March at Uyo in Akwa Ibom state.
The Nigeria Police, according to data from Statista, has 5,556 units of police stations, police posts, commands, and headquarters as of 2017. Police posts were about 2,000, the most present in the country, followed by 1,700 headquarters of divisions and 1,200 police stations.
The personnel of the Nigeria Police is about 371,800 and this number is expected to grow to about 430,000 when the 60,000 recruits envisaged by 2026 are added.
It would be recalled that the United Nations recommends one policeman per 450 citizens and Nigeria’s population currently stands at over 200 million.
Rasaq Salami, spokesperson for NAICOM said he is not aware whether the Nigeria Police has applied to the Commission for a licence for the insurance company.
“I am not aware but will check it out tomorrow” responded Salami to the InsideBusiness inquiry on Tuesday night.
Although details of what the Police Insurance Company will handle are still sketchy, the new effort could be an upgrade of the Nigeria Police Force Insurance Unit which was established in May 1992.
The unit is a scheme set up to cater for the welfare of police personnel who are either retired or have sustained injuries in the line of duty, and relatives of deceased police personnel according to Muyiwa Adejobi, the Police Force Public Relations Officer.
Meanwhile, the Inspector General of Police Alkali Baba has restated the commitment of the Force to enhanced welfare for Police Officers through robust insurance policies geared towards efficiency, dedication, and improved conditions of service.
He stated this while flagging off a Three-day workshop for Police Insurance Desk Officers organised to develop the capacity of dedicated officers drawn from the 36 State Commands, the Federal Capital Territory, and other Police Formations across the country.
The workshop is one of the major steps toward repositioning the Unit for the attainment of its welfare mandate.
The IGP, while declaring the workshop open, commended the Force Insurance Officer, ACP Uzairu Abdullahi, for his knowledge and professional foresight which has been instrumental in the repositioning of the unit.
The IGP equally presented cheques totalling N183,295,327.32 to families of 40 deceased police officers, who lost their lives in the line of duty.
The Inspector-General of Police however assured all members of the Force that with current efforts being emplaced to reposition the Force Insurance Section, better days are ahead about the timely resolution of claims and benefits accruing to the next of kin of injured or deceased police officers as well as other welfare schemes of the force.