BY: ONOME AMUGE
Insurance remains a sustainable succour and the surest bet for everyone, including corporate bodies and individuals, to overcome the global economic crisis heightened by the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
This was the assertion of experts in the insurance sector during the recent 2022 business outlook organised by the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN) held in Lagos.
Sunday Thomas, the commissioner of insurance, who spoke on the theme, “Strategies aimed at cushioning the effect of the Covid-19 on the operations of Nigerian insurance industry and the way forward,” told stakeholders that the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) took some critical decision to address the challenges posed by the pandemic.
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The NAICOM chief executive officer, recounted that the commission ensured an increase visibility for the insurance sector and continued to implement effective policyholder protection scheme, improved internal capacity for assessing emerging risks, incentivised the effective risks management enablers, monitored degree of customers satisfaction and enhanced insurance education and awareness, among other strategic interventions.
Thomas further stated that NAICOM will at this critical time, ensure risk based capital approach and actuarial competence framework directed at ensuring enhanced investments in digital capabilities and automation, standardisation of reports, entrench effective assets and liability management, and establish capacity development programmes.
He highlighted other development projects to include, establishment of the College of Insurance Supervisors of the West African Monetary Zone (CISWAMZ), use of modelling for risk assessment and stress testing, cyber insurance policy, reinforcement of the recovery and resolution plan, and ensuring that context specific products such as loss of job insurance products are offered.
Muftau Oyegunle, president and chairman of council, CIIN, stated that the growth projections for 2022 revealed the demand for insurance would keep rising worldwide and the industry will be fairly bullish notwithstanding concerns about the potential effects of Covid-19 variants.
Citing a report by the Swiss Reinsurance Institute, Oyegunle stated that global insurance premiums will for the first time in history exceed $7 trillion by mid-2022.
He emphasised on the need to create more awareness about the insurance sector, noting that it possesses untapped potentialities.
The CIIN president also expressed optimism that the insurance sector will this year experience growth projections which shall come through innovative offerings, products and services.
In his remarks, Rotimi Edu, president and chairman of the governing board of Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB), called on the federal and state governments to check insurance racketeers whose activities have a negative impact on the system.
Commenting on a report that the Nigeria insurance industry loses over N160 billion yearly to fake motor insurance racketeers, Edu lamented that an industry which had been contributing less than one percent to the gross domestic product, in spite of its huge potentials, loses such whopping amount of money to fake vendors who contribute nothing to the growth of the nation.
The NCRIB president thereafter charged the Vehicle Inspection Service (VIS) to increase its enforcement strategies to include insurance certification in such a way that motorists without genuine motor insurance certificate would be made to face sanctions as stipulated in the law.
He also enjoined the government at all levels and private organisations to pay more attention to the issue of insurance.