AGENTS are protesting their exclusion in the proposed committee on the review of the Insurance (Consolidated) Bill by the Minister of Finance Mrs. Kemi Adeosun and the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM).
To this end, the Association of Registered Insurance Agents of Nigeria (ARIAN) has written to the minister and NAICOM, asking that they be absorbed into the committee.
The Ministry of Finance had constituted a 10-member committee to review the Insurance Bill to make it conform with the ideals of insurance practice and also ensures an efficient industry.
ARIAN President Olamerun Gbadebo told The Nation that the committee would be incomplete without agents.
He said the association has a lot to contribute to enhance retail business considered to be the panacea to insurance growth.
He noted that it was in the interest of the industry if the agents were allowed to contribute to the review.
He said it had become obvious that the government is the biggest insurance client with businesses like the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), and group life insurance policy, among others.
He added that it had also become clear that with the dwindling oil price, the government might not have money to insure all of its assets and properties hence the need to enhance retail business.
He said: “The fundamentals to increase insurance premium is to invest into the retail arm of the industry and the insurance agents represent the retail segment. The retail segment can fill in the gap of the dwindling oil price while it bounces back.
“The industry need concentrate on how insurance premium will grow and also increase the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) while the price of oil bounces back.”
Reacting to the development, NAICOM said it is not responsible for setting of the committee.
Spokesman to the Commission, Rasaaq Salami said NAICOM is only a member of the Committee and so there is nothing they can do about their exclusion from the committee.
According to him, the bill has been with the Ministry of Finance.
The review is expected to form the basis for a new draft bill, which will be sent to the National Assembly for consideration.
Minister of Finance said the review committee with members drawn from the public and private sectors, was to submit its report within three months.
The Review Committee, which is yet to be inaugurated, is chaired by Dr. Omogbai-Omo Eboh, a renowned expert in Insurance Law, while Dr. Talmiz Usman (Head of Legal Department, NAICOM is the Secretary.
Other members include a representative of the Ministry of Finance; a representative of the National Insurance Commission; a representative of Nigeria Insurers’ Association (NIA), and a representative of Nigeria Council of Registered Insurance Brokers.
Members of the committee also include a representative of the Institute of Loss Adjusters of Nigeria; a representative of the Attorney- General of the Federation, Kamar Raji and Dr. Ladi Hamalai of the National Institute of Legal Studies.
The minister said the activities of the Review Committee would be funded by NAICOM, which is the statutory agency of the Federal Government.
According to the minister, the terms of reference of the committee include a critical review of the draft Insurance (Consolidated) Bill, to make it a framework or principle-based legislation; a comparative review of the bill to align it with the powers of other financial regulators as well as an examination of market problems and recommendation of appropriate regulatory powers to allow the regulator, act appropriately.
Source: The Nation