The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), in partnership with the Kaduna State Government, is set to enforce the nation’s five compulsory insurance policies in the state.
They are motor vehicle (third party) liability insurance, builders’ liability insurance (buildings under construction), occupiers liability insurance on public building, healthcare professional liability insurance and group life insurance.
The Commission is seeking the support of the state government in enforcing compliance with the compulsory policies.
Commissioner for Insurance, Alhaji Mohammed Kari, made this known while speaking during a courtesy visit of the officials of the commission to the Kaduna State government over the weekend.
The Commission, he said, plans to set up its branch in Kaduna just as it mulls opening new branches across the country.
According to Kari, enforcement of the policies in the state would include provision of genuine insurance products to the government and people of the state, opening of another veritable source of internally generated revenue (IGR) for the state government.
He said it would also ensure the creation of employment for the citizenry and would free the government of the burden of having to compensate victims from its scarce resources in the event of occurrence of mishaps or natural disaster.
He said: “In line with our strategic road-map, the Commission has set out reforms needed to reposition the Nigerian insurance sector to effectively serve our growing population and most importantly the financially under-serviced low-income segment. Notwithstanding Nigeria’s vast population, insurance had a mixture of myth, misunderstanding and ignorance defining it. Cultural issues and attitudes have continued to hinder the role of insurance in fast-tracking Nigeria’s economic growth.
“In keying into the Federal Government’s Financial System Strategy that visioned Nigeria of being a world’s top twenty economy by the year 2020, (FSS2020 development framework), the Commission initiated the “Market Development and Restructuring Initiative” (MDRI) in 2009. The programme has, among its objectives, the promotion of public understanding of insurance; the building of confidence on the Nigerian insurance market; the enforcement and monitoring of compulsory insurances in Nigeria so as to grow premium income for the benefit of the Nigerian economy, thereby increasing insurance density and its contribution to gross domestic product (GDP).
“Having completed the first phase of execution, which was devoted to awareness creation across the six geopolitical zones, the Commission is now at the verge of kick-starting the second phase of the MDRI project, which is focused on implementation and enforcement of compulsory insurances across the country. These compulsory insurances put in place by various legislation in the country including the Insurance Act of 2003, are imperative because they mainly protect the interest of the third party.
“In the absence of our active presence, charlatans have moved in to deceive insurance consumers and government alike that they are offering genuine insurance products and protection. The state was at one time a victim. But for our timely intervention the damage would have been unimaginable. We believe this collaboration will open up several opportunities that will be to the benefit of the state as well as the insurance industry when consummated. We have developed a guideline that will make it for easy execution of the collaboration and partnership.”
Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, represented by his Deputy, Arch. Bala Bantex, said the state government will continue discussion with NAICOM with a view to ensure insurance implementation and penetration in the state. Promising that the commission request will receive full attention of the government, he added that the idea of sanctions to enhance insurance compliance is non-avoidable.
He said proper adoption of insurance will contribute to the growth of the nation’s GDP, pointing out that the state government has insured some of its facilities with insurance firms, although, he said, the state would now be more careful in order not to deal with quacks.
The state government, he pointed out, is making it mandatory for market men and women to insure their goods and assets through insurance, pleading on the commission to always ensure that insurance companies pay claims on insured risks whenever inferno occurs.
On building insurance, he said, the state government is currently ensuring that quality materials are used for building of structures, but will also be interested in ensuring that buildings and buildings under construction are adequately insured in the state.