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NAICOM seeks urgent amendment of obsolete insurance laws

The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), has again called for the amendment of some extant laws governing the nation’s insurance business in a bid to align them with international best practices.

The Acting Commissioner of Insurance, Sunday Thomas, made the call at a retreat organised by NAICOM for members of the House of Representatives Committee on Insurance and Actuarial Matters, in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state recently.

According to Thomas, a bill to amend the laws was being processed and appealed to the House of Assembly to give attention to it for quick passage.

He said: “The commission as a statutory regulatory agency derives its powers from the National Insurance Commission Act 1997 and the Insurance Act of 2003, to primarily oversight insurance practice in Nigeria.

“I believe this event provides me the opportunity to bring to your attention the fact that these laws in some of its provisions are fast becoming obsolete and thus require urgent amendments.

“It is imperative to note here that a bill to amend the insurance laws has been in the works for some years now.

“We are however, optimistic that when the bill is eventually presented to the 9th Assembly, it will enjoy accelerated attention,’’ Thomas said.

He further added that the commission over the years in the course of discharging its duties and in keeping to its mandate, had incepted a number of initiatives, especially in the area of market development to boost insurance penetration and growth; noting that while a lot has been achieved by the commission in this regards, there is still a lot to be done if it must attain the desired goals as an industry.

Mr Darlington Nwokocha, the Chairman, House Committee on Insurance and Actuarial Matters, said the nation’s insurance industry, when compared to the international community, had a lot to catch up with.

“In spite of the fact that we are lawmakers, we have the sole responsibility to defend the laws we make.

“Today, the insurance industry when you compare it on the same platform with the international community, you will find out that Nigeria still has a lot to meet up with. We are trying our best to see what we can do.

“There are certain ingredients in the law that finds little hitches for proper implementation.

“Certain infractions are being ignored and some of the stakeholders and operators find it now more or less like a rule or norm without considering the infractions.

“There are loopholes they may rely on trying to give it a different interpretation but as a responsible House, we are trying to make sure that the content of every act is defined appropriately.

“The committee will find it interesting for us to kick-start the process of the amendment of the insurance Act and to give it a quick and accelerated attention and passage.

“We are ready; one thing is sure, there is a common denominator which we must make sure we hold tenaciously and that is making sure that Nigerian economy revolves effectively within the plan of the insurance industry,’’ he said.

Sun

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