Government stunting insurance growth says Kari, NAICOM boss


How governments at various levels have stunted the growth of the insurance sub-sector was at the centre stageThursday as federal government began efforts to make the industry more responsive to the economic growth of the country.

Mohammed Kari, the insurance commissioner who spoke at the inauguration of insurers’ committee by the federal government, similar to what obtains in the banking industry, gave instances of the unpatronizing attitudes of government said these explained why the industry has not contributed massively to the country’s Gross Domestic Product( GDP).
First, Kari said government is the largest business in the country but its patronage of insurance is abysmally low. Second is the non-protective of public assets, an untoward attitude of government and third, the delay in amending the existing insurance laws which had gathered dust at the National Assembly.
“Government’s general attitude to insurance has to improve. There is low patronage of insurance by government and its agencies and the lack of effort to protect public assets. Even when it does, the funding is haphazard”.
Kari observed that the ability of government to replace damaged or lost asset has waned and as such should embrace insurance.
“Employees, especially our gallant forces fighting insecurity challenges need to have the comfort of insurance protection as they confront their duties”.
“There is an apparent lack of Insurance expertise in the civil service as such government is not guided properly internally as it ventures to deal with the industry. The position of insurance is virtually non-existent in the civil service’s scheme of service, for the few insurance professionals are not placed properly to play their professional role”.”The industry has been yearning for a review of the Insurance laws in the country, to these end an insurance bill was drafted and submitted to the Ministry of Finance with the full involvement of all stakeholders. Almost five years later nothing has been heard of it.”, he said.

Minister of finance Kemi Adeosun, represented by Director of Homes Finance in the ministry, Kali Zaji underscored the need for government and insurance stakeholders to work together to improve the Nigeria.

” I believe that government and the insurance industry can work together to improve the lots of the Nigerian economy. The federal government is committed to its change agenda and will ensure that the infantry operates by the rule, eliminate corruption and create employment in the industry .  There is a need to work together to improve the value that insurance adds to the life of members of the public”, said the minister.

According to her, ” our shared interest is ensuring that people have the financial capability and awareness of insurance products and receive good consumer services, to ensure insurance is more accessible and more widely available towards ensuring that the  insurance  industry should make a significant contribution to the GDP of this country “.

The insurers’ committee has  all insurance CEOs as members and Commissioner of insurance its  chairman.  The committee has six standing sub- committees to handle various issues and report back to the committee in next meeting slated for 11th of February, 2016.

The six sub – committee  include,  corporate governance ,market development, market conduct; Prudential committee, technical and communication committee.

The committee is  similar to Bankers’.committee, a forum for interaction between  insurance CEOs and NAICOM to discuss issues affecting the Industry and proffer steps on developing the business of insurance.
INSURANCE,  L-R,  Representative, Minister of Finance, Mr Kalli Zaji, Managing Director, Nicon Insurance Ltd Mr Bayode Samuel and Commissioner, for Insurance Alh Mohammed Kari during the Inauguration of the Insurers Committee in Abuja.

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