From Uche Usim, Abuja
A strategic effort towards protecting public and private sector assets deepened on Thursday, as the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) secured the firm support of the Office of Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF) in the total enforcement of compulsory insurance in Nigeria.
Speaking while hosting the Board of Directors of NAICOM led by its Chairman, Dr Abubakar Sani, the representative of the SGF, Dr Maurice Mbaeri, who is the Permanent Secretary, OSGF, described compulsory insurance as vital to national development, urging the NAICOM management to come up with a blueprint on how the OSGF can help it realise its vision and mission.
Mbaeri charged NAICOM to up its game in the area of monitoring prompt payment of claims to the insured as many insurance firms hide under suspicious reasons to avoid paying compensation as and when due.
He said: “NAICOM is a well known organ of government. Very credible and have defined roles. The board has credible people in or and I’m confident you would do your best to realise NAICOM’s mission and vision.
“Enforcement of compulsory insurance for the public and private sector is good. It’s an area covered by your mandate. Government would help in this regard. The unseriousness of citizens towards insurance often springs from awful personal experiences. People lost interest in taking up policies because of lack of being indemnified. In some instances, insurance companies hide under funny circumstances to deny the insured their dues. Please look into this area to ensure people embrace insurance policies.
“The onus is on you, send a draft copy of that letter on compulsory insurance and let the SGF know how to issue service wide circular for MDAs’ compliance. Send us the circular capturing all what you want and once it meets the expectation of the government, we will issue it. We will do all that is necessary to ensure the board and management meet their mandates” Mbaeri stated.
He urged the board and management to work in synergy and avoid clashes; as the OSGF has had causes to settle disputes between management and boards of various Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
“Disputes are things we see often. Let me state that you have defined roles and responsibilities as a board and management. You really need to work together so that you can win back public confidence on insurance matters”, he added.
Mbaeri also pushed for the decentralization of MDAs insurance budget currently domiciled and operated by the Head of Service of the Federation, explaining that such lump up has led to reduced insurance budget over the years.
He further charged NAICOM to deepen sensitisation and stakeholder engagement to bring more Nigerians into the insurance space.
Also speaking, the Commisioner For Insurance and Chief Executive, NAICOM, Mr Sunday Thomas said it recently revoked the licenses of two insurance due to poor claims payment, saying such an approach would be adopted in an effort to restore confidence in the sector.
Dr Abubakar Sani, NAICOM Board Chairman, in his remarks said that the courtesy visit was to intimate the OSGF of its plans to take the Nigerian insurance sector to the next level.