Chieftains of the industry have lauded the Federal Government for the inauguration of the committee for the review of insurance (consolidated) bill that had been in the cooler for a long time.
The Director-General of the Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA), Sunday Thomas, said we appreciate the timely action of the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, to inaugurate the committee for review of the bill, as the government has acknowledge the urgent need to reposition the insurance subsector to enable it play its significant role in the economy.
According to him, government recognizes the importance of insurance in economy and is taking this step to redress its current performance. Besides, we will appeal to government to follow up with the insurances of its assets in order to boost the performance of the industry.
The Minister of Finance in his remarks said the review of this bill is long overdue and is key to repositioning the insurance industry and ensuring that it plays its expected role in the financial services industry and the wider economy.
According to her, “this administration is committed to the revival of this economy. However, in the spirit of “change” the economy of the future needs to be different from the past. The new economy must be well diversified and protected from the destabilizing effects of oil price fluctuations. We believe we can grow the non-oil sectors of the economy particularly agriculture, solid minerals and manufacturing”.
She said “suffice it to say that it is consequent upon this urgent need to reposition the insurance subsector to enable it play its significant role in the economy that the then Honourable Minister of Finance, Dr. Shamsuddeen Usman, set up a committee under the chairmanship of Professor Joe Irukwu to, among others, identify the factors that hinder insurance growth in Nigeria.
One of these factors, she said, was identified to be the poor legal framework which is considered highly prescriptive. On this premise, the Committee went to work.
“I would take this opportunity to appreciate the effort of chairman and members of that committee for their commitment, devotion, passion, diligence and the zeal with which they carried out their assigned task. Your contribution is recognized and appreciated”
According to her, the draft bill provides for a proposed law which provides for basic principles, allowing details to be provided by way of regulations and guidelines. This is intended to “promote timely and proactive intervention to protect policyholders and other stakeholders; promote discipline, ethical practices and sound market conduct; enhance insurance penetration, awareness & growth, promote employment generation”.