|Mr. Fola Daniel|
The National Insurance Commission said that the total assets of insurance sector rose to N793.6bn at the end of the first quarter of this year.
The Director, Supervision, NAICOM, Opara Onwusereaka disclosed this while making a presentation on the industry on Friday.
“The total assets of insurance sector stood at N711.4bn at the end of the 2014 financial year and rose to N793.6bn at the end of the first quarter of 2015,” he said.
He also said that the total liabilities of the sector rose from N422.7bn in 2014 to N444.4bn in the first quarter of this year.
The director said the shareholders funds and the insurance funds, which were N352.5bn and N334.86bn, at the end of 2014, stood at N343.4b and N347.9bn, respectively in the first quarter of 2015.
Onwusereaka said that the industry recorded gross premium of N302.105bn in 2014.
According to him, all insurance companies have submitted their first quarter accounts for this year except those with regulatory issues.
He also said that 40 insurance companies had submitted their 2014 financial accounts and 26 had so far got approval for their results.
He said that 13 of the results were awaiting response while one was undergoing a review.
The director noted that the underwriting companies had improved significantly in the preparation and submission of their accounts as they no longer indulged in late submission of reports.
The Director-General, Nigerian Insurers Association, Mr. Sunday Thomas, noted that there had been significant improvement in the industry.
He said that the enforcement of compulsory insurance through the Market Restructuring and Development Initiatives by NAICOM had helped to improve the performance of the sector.
The NIA boss said the industry had been able to sustain and improve the established alternative dispute resolution mechanism.
Thomas also said insurance firms were counting the gains of the enforcement of the ‘no premium no cover’ law, which had helped to eradicate the occurrence of unpaid premium in the sector.
“It had minimised and reasonably eliminated huge outstanding premiums with the ‘no premium no cover’ policy directive,” he said.
He also said there had been expansion in the local capacity for oil and gas insurance business with the establishment of the EAIPN.
According to him, this oil and gas pool was growing and assisting to achieve the local content objectives.
He said that the development of insurance market for the low income group with the introduction of micro-insurance had drawn insurance closer to the grass roots.
The director-general said the establishment of the Nigerian Insurance Industry Database for verification of insurance policies was already making impact in the sector.
He noted that NAICOM was able to issue corporate governance guidelines to establish sustainable transparency and accountability.
In the past years, he said the sector had been promoting effective distribution of insurance products through bancassurance and creating a formidable regulatory system that had to some extent earned the respect of the operators.
Thomas said that under the present administration of NAICOM, there had been stability and cooperation in the industry.