By Favour Nnabugwu
The Governing Board of National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has vowed to revisit the insurance industry recapitalisation, even as it is seeking the support of the Federal Government to effect a major restructuring of the sector and eliminate non-performing companies.
NAICOM’s Board Chairman, Dr. Abubakar Sani, said this yesterday when he led members of the Governing Board on a courtesy visit to Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, in Abuja.
Dr. Sani intimated the Minister of the Board’s plan to carry out specific exercises aimed at sanitizing the insurance industry in the country, stressing that enforcement of the code of ethics for companies in the sector is underway.
“We shall enforce the professional code of ethics among the insurance entities, and strengthen their corporate governance which the Board believes will sanitize the market.
”The NAICOM Board will in due course revisit the matter of recapitalization of the insurance industry and will clean up its act with the enforcement of code of ethics of insurance profession and practice, and code of good corporate governance in companies. The board is working to sanitize the market and will be taking out companies that are not measuring up to expectations,” he said.
Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, charged the Board and the Management of NAICOM to develop and implement policies which will strengthen the insurance sector and reposition the industry to enhance its contribution to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and the economy at large.
She, however, urged members to be mindful of existing guidelines regulations and circulars that guide the operation and conduct of the Governing Boards of Federal Government Parastatals, Agencies and Commissions and strictly adhered to them.
“The initiative to pay this visit barely two months after your inauguration demonstrates your sense of purpose and desire to work closely with the Ministry towards realizing the mandates of NAICOM.
“At your inauguration, I called your attention to some issues of interest and concern in the Insurance Industry which require your urgent attention, This visit, therefore, affords me yet another opportunity to once more congratulate you on your inauguration and inform you that Government has a very high expectation of this Board. You must build on the successes of the immediate past Board.
“In this regard, I wish to restate some of those issues and remind you of your role as Chairman and members of the Governing Board of NAICOM.
The Board which also comprises the Management should develop and implement policies which will strengthen the insurance sector and reposition the industry to enhance its contribution to the nation’s GDP and to the economy at large.
“It is of utmost importance for the New Board and the Management of the National Insurance Commission to work harmoniously together to actualize the mandate of the Commission.
“The Board has to develop strategies to systematically build the capacity of members through Workshops, Seminars, Study Tours, etc. to enable effective contribution towards the growth of the Industry, especially as some members were not drawn from the Insurance Sector.
“Members to note that there are guidelines regulations and Circulars that guide the operation and conduct of Governing Boards of Federal Government Parastatals, Agencies and Commissions and should be strictly adhered to – Frequency of meetings; entitlements of Board members, Travel guidelines and related matters.
“Deepening Insurance Penetration in the Country: There would be a need to achieve more insurance penetration in the country.
In this regard, there is a need to evolve new insurance products and policies.
“The Board and the Management must ensure that the condition of service and welfare of the staff creates a conducive atmosphere to promote staff productivity and engender industrial peace.
“Finally, members should commit to develop and implement policies that would promote the reputation of the Industry through prompt payment of claims. Your target should be to take the Industry to greater and enviable heights during your tenure.
“In conclusion, I wish to restate the Ministry’s commitment to continue to assist and support the Commission towards realizing its mandate for the overall benefits of the nation,” she submitted.