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To realise this initiative, the commission held a two day sensitisation retreat for members of the Federal House of Representative’s Committee on Finance at Global Village Hotel and Suite, Karu, Nasarawa State.
Speaking at the retreat, the Commissioner for Insurance, Mr Fola Daniel noted that the presence of the Committee members was a great support to the Commission’s initiative to reposition the insurance sector in order to realise the objective of making insurance industry play a pivotal role in the development of the nation’s economy,
Mr Daniel explained that the objective of the retreat was to provide a platform to interact with the honourables with a view to having a better appreciation of the challenges posed by weak legal framework for the regulation and supervision of the insurance industry in Nigeria.
According to him, a similar retreat was held in December 2011 in Calabar, for members of the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions to apprise them of the new draft bill.
Daniel said that the realisation of the various initiatives and reforms being embarked upon by the commission were constrained by poor legal framework, poor public perception of the sector, low awareness among the populace, and so on.
To address the constraints occasioned by poor legal framework, the commissioner explained that, in March 2009, a former Minister of State for Finance inaugurated a committee to review all laws and regulations relevant to insurance in Nigeria under the chairmanship of Professor Joe Irukwu.
The committee, he said, had since submitted its report and a new insurance draft bill is presently being reviewed by the Federal Ministry of Finance. He added that the draft bill is expected to be passed to the Federal Executive Council soon for onward presentation to the National Assembly.
Furthermore, Mr Daniel noted that the review of existing insurance laws in the country became imperative, specifically, the "need, among others, for a robust legal and regulatory framework that will ensure that the Insurance sector contributes positively to the principal objective of the Financial System Strategy 2020 (FSS 2020) to make Nigeria Africa’s financial hub and one of the twenty (20) largest economies in the world by the year 2020.”
According to him, there is need to evolve effective risk-based supervision in the regulatory system as the existing rule-based supervision, enabled by the current laws had become obsolete and therefore cannot drive the envisioned development of the sector. He also highlighted the need to ensure ethical practice and international best practices as required by the International Association of Insurance Supervisors(IAIS), and the need for a legal and regulatory framework that allows the supervisory authority to deal promptly with issues evolving from the dynamism of the insurance business.
The Commissioner also informed the members that "the Bill consolidates and harmonizes the various existing legislation for effective and efficient regulation, supervision and sound insurance practice in Nigeria.
The existing legal framework often creates uncertainty in underwriting processes, regulatory inconsistencies, conflict of laws, etc.”
Facilitators at the retreat were drawn from the federal ministry of Justice, that of Finance, and the insurance industry. Speaking on the topic “Overview of the Insurance Consolidated Bill” HonorableLanreLaoshe, CEO, Leverage Insurance Brokers Limited, said when eventually passed into law, the new draft bill has the potentials to drive the Nigerian Insurance Industry to a level where it could rank amongst the best in the world.
Honourable Laoshe took the participants into content analysis of the draft bill. He also dwelled extensively on the limitations and enormous potentials of the Nigerian insurance industry in comparism to what obtains in other jurisdictions.Share