E-Marine Insurance: New CBN Policy Draws Discordant Tunes
Stakehoklders in the maritime industry have expressed divergent views over the new policy on e-marine insurance introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.
While some welcomed the policy noting that it will reduce inherent malpractices associated with the physical marine insurance certificates, others expressed fear that it will only open up importers to exploitation by the banks and insurance companies.
Some of the stakeholders noted that though it is a welcome development, the readiness of insurance companies’ participation in the e-transaction was a source of concern.
Vanguard Maritime Report gathered that with the physical presentation of the insurance certificates, the insurance agents, in connivance with insurance companies and the banks, present copy of certificate without such certificate being in the official records.
Speaking with Vanguard Maritime Report, an export expert and Chief Executive Officer of Multimix Academy, an export academy, Madu Obiora, said he does not see any problem with the new policy.
Obiora noted that the only concern is whether the insurance companies are ready and have the capacity to issue the e-marine certificates.
He further noted that the new policy would help eliminate such shortcomings associated with the old system.
Reminded of the possibility of circumventing the new policy, the export expert called on the CBN to charge the insurance companies to include the names and contact details of their authorised signatories to ease contact, traceability and verification.
He stated: “I do not see it as a problem; it is a condition that was already there. It is better to get as many things as possible on e-bases; it is going to reduce transaction time.
“I am not aware of any challenges that it is going to pose; maybe until the usage but the question is, how ready are the insurance companies for the e-insurance; that is the issue that needs to be sorted before the implementation.
“Well, people can cut corners with anything but what the CBN can do is to request authorised signatures, authorised persons, and authorised email addresses for verification. That way you would have cut-off people trying to do the wrong things.”
Similarly, immediate past National President Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents, ANLCA and Chief Executive Officer of Skelas Group, Olayewola Shittu, said it is only a way of exploiting importers.
In his words, “Is there any bank that does not have affiliation with an insurance company? All of them are and if the banks are the ones preparing the Form M, how do they give room for fake insurance policy? What it will come down to is that importers will just be paying money, enriching the banks and insurance companies more because you do not even know how much they are charging you for the e-transaction through your Form M.
“My take on the introduction of e-transaction, e-insurance, etc., is that Nigeria is a place where policies are made without consultation with stakeholders. It is an experimental situation and that is why you see Customs continually being experimented with all the time without any hope.”