NAICOM Explains Ten Year Tenure for Insurance Chief ExecutiveS

Fola Daniel
The Commissioner for Insurance, Mr. Fola Daniel has explained the reason for the latest regulation on ten year tenure for insurance chief executives, saying that it was targeted at creating room for succession plan in the industry and ensuring continuity of the various operating firms.

The commissioner, who gave the explanation while answering questions from journalists in Ilorin Kwara State at the insurance seminar for journalists organised by the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), said a closer look at the management structure of many insurance companies in Nigeria shows that there is lack of plan for the future of the companies management-wise.
He said none of the insurance chief executives can today point at a glance the next staff of his company that could succeed him in the event of his or her sudden exit.
He said each chief executive guards his position jealously with little or no concern about the next staff in the line that would conveniently step in his shoes at his absence, adding that the situation is not healthy for the future of the industry.
According to Daniel, there is no going back on the policy or any other official statement on it as the policy has come to stay and the commission would commence the implementation in due time.
He said any chief executive whose tenure is approaching ten years should begin to arrange for a successor as the commission will in due time implement the policy which according to him is for good and progress of the industry .
But some insurance chief executives who spoke to THISDAY on anonymous ground kicked against it, querying whether the commission wants to kill the industry with such policy .
Group Managing Director of one of big insurance firms who does not want his name in print, said the policy would lead to depletion of professionals and experienced hands in the insurance industry.
According to him, by retiring chief executives of operating firms after ten years in office, there will be fast exit of experienced brains and the industry will be left to baby professionals who lacked managerial experience.
He also lamented that it will frustrate chief executives with dynamic ideas on how to grow their companies as before they would adjust their seats to begin to implement the long term plans they have drawn for their companies, their time would have been up and they would be compelled to exit with such ideas.
Another chief executive of a medium size insurance firm queried what the commissioner expects young brain like him who is still very active but has almost spent ten years as chief executive of his company to do.
He asked what the commissioner wants them to do after such early retirement since they are insurance professionals and have spent all their lives in the business.
He queried if the commissioner wants them to retire and die of boredom and high blood pressure since many do not have money to float their own insurance firms.
Since the news of implementation of the ten year tenure for insurance chief executives filled the air, many insurance chieftains have been very uncomfortable.
Some are worried that the outgoing commissioner having maintained peace and harmony between the operating firms and his commission towards his retirement wants to create chaos with the latest policy.
It will be recalled that when the CBN under the governorship of Sanusi Lamido Sanusi implemented the ten year tenure policy for bank chief executives , managers of insurance firms were jittery that it would be their turn after the banking industry.
But NAICOM assured them that it was not going to be a copy cat regulator but would stand on its feet knowing well the peculiar nature of insurance industry.
Though the commission mentioned the implementation of the policy within the period,it was not assertive on it until now.
THISDAY