NAICOM emphasises the need for reform in insurance industry

Mr Mohammed Kari, the Commissioner for Insurance National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), has stressed the need to reform and digitise the country’s insurance industry to boost the economy.

Kari said this at the National Insurance Industry Consultative Council’s 2019 National Conference in Abuja on Monday.

The theme of the conference is: “Disruption, Innovation and Business Growth.”

According to him, this will help strengthen insurance institutions and acceptance of insurance in the country.

“From the regulatory standpoint, the need to exploit the opportunities of digitisation and to tame the cumulative consequence of inflation is critical.

“The devaluation of the naira heightens the necessity for the ongoing reforms of the insurance industry such as, expansion of the insurance distribution channels, financial inclusion,

“Others are corporate governance enforcement, market discipline, professionalism and the recapitalization exercise aimed at strengthening insurance institutions.

“Let me add that these reforms are in furtherance of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration’s determination to revamp the economy as encapsulated in the Economic Recovery Growth Programme (ERGP).

“This is in order to ensure that the insurance industry becomes a significant contributor to economy of Nigeria,” he said.

Kari said the conference would provide a veritable platform for top government agencies, investors, insurance practitioners and other stakeholders to discuss issues affecting the development of the insurance industry in the country.

“The insurance business model, which essentially entails evaluation and assumption of risk, accumulation of premiums and settlement of claims, has largely remained the same since the first policy was sold in London in 1861.

“The theme of this year’s conference: “Disruption, Innovation and Business Growth” is therefore very pertinent against the backdrop of the need for the Nigerian insurance industry to remain relevant in an era of dynamism where operating in the same way is an assured route to irrelevance, ” he said.

Mr Ben Akabueze, the Director-General, Budget Office of the Federation, called for the consolidation of the insurance industry to build trust among the citizens.

He stated that the insurance industry was ripped for disruption, innovation and growth, with the significance progress made in the industry.

“This industry has to move beyond thinking about mandate of the insurance to actually making insurance enduring culture of Nigerians.

“For that to happen, the industry must do better by building trust. It is about our repetition among the generality of Nigerians. This country is in need of investment.

“I want to express my personal support for the consolidation of the insurance industry to take its rightful place. I was the CEOs of one of the banks when the banking industry went into consolidation.

“I knew what difference it made to the banking industry.

According to him, in other countries, insurance companies own banks. In Nigeria, insurance company need to be associated with banks to appears strong.

“Investment will not happen without savings and insurance is a tool for mobilising national savings.

“We look forward to seeing the industry contribute more in terms of mobilising the much needed investments in the country,” he said.

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