Joseph Inokotong, Abuja
The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), has unfolded plans to recalibrate its operations throwing up digitalisation as the fulcrum for developing the insurance industry in the country.
The acting Commissioner for Insurance, NAICOM, Olorundare Sunday Thomas who stated this said the digitalisation of operations in the insurance industry is the way forward for the industry.
Mr. Thomas in his keynote address at a seminar for insurance journalists with the theme: “Strategic Focus of the commission in the year 2020; from compliance to development,” said “Digitalisation of the insurance business is no longer an option, but an imperative which we all have to work towards its actualisation. As we may all be aware, the industry is currently lagging behind other financial services sectors in this area.”
Also, he said that the commission is working vigorously to ensure all its operations are digitalised.
Thomas noted that the year 2020 is a year to turnaround the insurance industry fortunes and this cannot be accomplished without digitalising the processes and encouraging the industry to imbibe the same.
He said the commission shall, in the course of the year, continue to introduce new reforms and initiatives in line with international best practices for attaining the level of growth and development all desired for the sector.
On recapitalisation, he assured that the commission will pursue it to its logical conclusion in December 2020.
Mr. Thomas said the financial inclusion strategy has been central to the Federal Government’s developmental plan, adding that the commission has over the years invested hugely in the development of financial inclusion mechanisms which includes the introduction of microinsurance and Takaful Insurance products.
“The introduction of these lines of insurance, he said, is intended to deepen the penetration of insurance in the country and bring into the fold majority of the populace that are hitherto excluded. So far, some milestones have been recorded in this regard with three standalone Microinsurance and four Takaful insurance companies already granted approvals”, said the NAICOM boss.
He said the commission shall continue to deploy more energy and resources in building public trust and confidence in insurance despite years of poor perception, and called for the support of insurance journalists in this regard.
The theme paper presenter, Deputy Director/Head Research, Statistics and Strategy Directorate, Mr. Gbolahan Adewale Suleiman, listed the achievements of the commission in 2019 and its focus in 2020.
He said the recapitalisation exercise which started in 2019 will continue to remain the core focus of the Commission in 2020.
According to him, “Some achievements of the Commission in 2019, included the issuance of circular to all insurance and reinsurance companies on the new capital regime.
“Ensured financial inclusion initiatives which led to approval in principal given to two new microinsurance companies and two Takafu insurance companies: championing the West African Regional Integration that will promote cross-border transactions.
“Others are the finalisation of the code of corporate governance (adoption of National Codes), capacity building and awareness creation for implementation of International Financial Reporting Standard 17 (IFRS 17) ahead of its commencement in 2022’ among others”.
He said in 2020, the commission will continue on the recapitalisation programme, aimed at increasing the industry’s capacity to enhance local retention and improve industry’s premium and ability to pay claims as well as protect shareholders’ investment, among others.