From Joseph Inokotong, Abuja
The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has condemned the non-insurance of government assets and properties, which has culminated in huge losses during disasters.
It stressed the urgent need to put in place measures to guide Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) on procuring adequate insurances for assets under their watch.
The Commissioner for Insurance, Mr Sunday O Thomas, who spoke at a sensitisation workshop for Insurance desk officers in MDAs, said the essence of insuring government assets is to cushion the adverse effects in event of catastrophes.
‘It is very worrisome to the Commission that most assets and liabilities of government are never adequately and appropriately insured, which further accentuated the need for urgent measures to be put in place by the Commission to ensure that government gets value for money in the purchase of insurance by MDAs. It is the desire of NAICOM to change this narrative for good,’ the commissioner stated.
‘The essence of Insurance of Government Assets and Liabilities is to cushion the impact and reduce the burden that the government would have to bear in likely occurrences of catastrophic events such as natural disasters, fire, accidents, building collapse, injuries or death to third parties, etc, thereby saving the government money which can be channeled towards augmenting the needs of the citizenry, providing infrastructure, and creating employment, among others.’
The NAICOM boss cited the provision of Section 7 (d) and (C) of the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) Act 1997 which stipulates that the Commission shall ensure adequate protection of strategic government assets and other properties just as the provisions empowers the Commission to act as Adviser to the Federal Government on all insurance related matters.
He maintained that NAICOM can better achieve these tasks with the full cooperation of the MDAs adding that the workshop and the subsequent ones to follow were part of the drive to achieve the above mandate as enshrined in extant laws.
Mr Thomas explained that the sensitisation workshop is aimed at equipping insurance desk officers with the necessary tools to ensure that all MDAs have adequate insurance coverage for all government assets and liabilities to curb wastage occasioned by losses of uninsured assets.
According to him, ‘at the end of this workshop, it is expected that insurance desk officers will now have the capacity to gauge the insurance protection needs of government assets under their purview and provide their principals with technical advice on the required insurance coverage for government assets and liabilities.
‘Building the capacity of insurance desk officers, enthroning transparency and accountability to ensure that government gets value for money in the purchase of insurance thus taking us all a step further in contributing effectively to the economic growth and development of Nigeria is an ongoing project of the Commission.’