…As industry grosses 2016 N380bn premium
By Maduka Nweke
The Nigerian Insurance Association (NIA), has said that non-enforcement of the compulsory insurance in the country has been the bane of the industry’s growth. NIA, which also noted that there is a huge insurance market in the country, however, blamed non-compliance on weak enforcement of the rules.
Speaking during the 46th AGM held recently in Lagos, the NIA Chairman, Eddie Efekoha, noted that a lot of factors militated against the growth of the industry during the period under review.
He said the price of crude oil, epileptic power supply, cut throat inflation, internal conflicts between herdsmen and farmers, a near comatose economy and the prolonged recession had serious consequences on the operations of insurance companies. He stated that the association is working on the establishment of a common platform for the sale of third party motor insurance policies.
According to him, “despite the economic slant in the country, the estimated volume of business underwritten by the industry in 2016 increased to N380 billion as against N311 billion underwritten in 2015. Despite the challenges posed by the economy, the suspension of the Federal Reporting Council Code of Corporate Governance, implementation and improved compliance with no premium no cover, especially by federal parastatals and Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA), improved anti-money laundering mechanism, full implementation of the International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS); improved enforcement of compulsory insurances; renewed vigour by the government to improve the ease of doing business and other efforts, the insurance industry has continued to be the preferred investment destination for reputable players in the global insurance.”
While discussing the Nigerian Insurance Industry Database (NIID) platform, Efekoha said the platform was demonstrated at the last association retreat of Chief Executive Officers of member companies in March 2017, adding that the association and the service provider are working hard to ensure that all the issues raised at the presentation are fully addressed. He further said that in the association’s desire to extend the coverage of the NIID to other states of the federation, it encountered the challenge of network coverage and internet connectivity.
He stressed that the association is taking steps to resolve the issue through the deployment of Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) code, maintaining that the marine module has been running and member companies are daily uploading on the platform, adding that at the end of May 2017, 33 member companies have uploaded 65,000 marine policies.
In her contribution, the NIA Acting Director General, Mrs. Lawunmi Idowu, stated that the NIID has ran consistently and hitch-free in the last 12 months. She said that the motor module has effectively changed the face of insurance business in Nigeria as incidences of fake motor insurance certificates have drastically reduced.
“The system’s features are constantly being enhanced to meet user’s requirements and expectations,” she said, stressing that in the period under review, additional features to the system include upload of short term policies, SMS alert of claims upload, mobile app of ask NIID and enhanced reporting facility,” she stated.
She also said that the marine module is being populated by member companies pending its full utilisation by relevant agencies. “In the coming years, the association’s expectation is that the NIID platform will fully integrate with all government agencies portals for real-time verification and thereby become an indispensable tool in carrying out their statutory functions and process,” she noted.