Reps assure on repositioning insurance companies by May 2020

• Set to engage forensic expert to end endemic corruption

The Chairman, House of Representatives’ Committee on Insurance and Actuarial, Hon. Darlington Nwokocha has expressed support for the recapitalisation of insurance companies operating in the country.

Hon Nwokocha who stated this during a chat with Tribune Online, reeled out the benefits of the insurance scheme and the need for all Nigerians insure the lives of their loved ones and properties.

“Definitely I’m fully in support of recapitalisation we are all Nigerians and all of us are well educated enough to understand what befell the banking industry before the recapitalisation and when the banking industry was recapitalised it came to be strong enough to measure up with international partners.

“Then in the insurance industry I’ve met with the NAICOM Commissioner and we are working closely to make sure that, that recapitalisation will come to a very greater height in less than no time.

“And bill already which is almost like moribund bill, because the dynamism of the society has made it that, after a little while you must have done the necessary amendments to suit the immediate need of the environment.

“So we are working hard, less than a few months from now, I promised them – the stakeholders that we just come out with the necessary amendments to those bills to have very brand new law on insurance.

“So recapitalisation is key, we are working towards that and we will make sure that all we need, we have all the instruments, the only thing is that the insurance industry relies on government people while private stakeholders and individuals will work hard to make sure they have and do the needful. So recapitalisation between now and May (2020) will be a thing of reality. That is the way to go and it will come the same time with the necessary amendments of the law,” he assured.

While responding to issues bothering on the alleged endemic corruption in the implementation of insurance policies in Nigeria as captured in the resolution passed by the House during Thursday plenary, Hon Nwokocha who argued that the 9th Assembly is “very responsible and responsive to any issues bothering on corruption,” assured that the investigative hearing would be done with the view to sanitising the insurance industry.

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“The insurance industry supposes to be the major driver of the economy in all ramifications as in other climes outside these shores, you will find our that insurance for instance in America, Europe insurance companies own banks. But in Nigeria, it is a different clime where you see some banks own insurance firms.

“Why it is like that, because of the lack of confidence of individuals. You can see we have a very infinitesimal number of cars insured and the essence of insurance is you insure what you love; anything you love, insure because you will not like anything to happen to it. Nobody can be solvent at all times, so insurance is all about the pool of funds.

“And when you put such funds together for any uncertainty and when it happens you rely on and fall back on it and to make sure you drive your life the way you ought to. But that is not the case in Nigeria. Either a situation where certain premiums and claims are not properly profiled you find out that even in the Ministries they do not even consider it paramount.

“As we have in the 2020 budget, there are very few agencies that have much to cover their Staffers, very few and you will be wondering doesn’t mean that the staff of these agencies are not supposed to enjoy the insurance cover? But it is there!

“And some of them like this investigation has rightly put it, some of them that have the cover there so many flaws, there are so many inconsistencies. There are suspected shortcomings which we have been called upon to investigate forensic wise today.

“You can imagine that there is the suspicion that there are some of the claims that are flawed with over-assessment or some moribund items in big establishments in Nigeria are being insured. There are too many flaws here and there. Some think these are the things we need to look at.

“So as we jumpstart the industry the way we ought to, and that was why when we started I invited almost all the stakeholders saying look at where we want to go; this is our intention and we have to put our hands together so that nobody will be left behind.

“And today, that has bothered the entire House of Representatives to come up with that unanimous decision to say okay, go and investigate so that you start on a very clean note.

“I assure you by the grace of God that the Committee will do a very good job because we have competent people who are well experienced as members of the Committee and outside that I know we are going to engage the best hands all over the world to make sure we do the proper investigation.”

He further assured that the Committee will also investigate some of the insurance activities domiciled overseas with the view to ensure strict compliance with extant financial regulations.

“There is insurance like the prayer of the investigation, there are another flank has to do with the domicile of insurance component outside this country and these are captives, those captives are in companies that what they do we do not know.

“And thank God that the Legislature is an arm that there is nothing like classified information as far as we are concerned.

“We must unveil every situation because every Legislature in its capacity is under oath to make sure they do not reveal necessary information we just want to streamline and strengthen the economy although,” Hon Nwokocha noted.

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