The Nigerian insurance industry in 2015 witnessed series of activities in the course of the year. ROSEMARY ONUOHA reviews some of the events that took place in the sector during the year.
Inauguration of Insurers Committee
In the course of the year, the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, inaugurated the Insurers’ Committee. According to the National Insurance Commission, NAICOM, chief executive officers of all insurance companies are members of the Committee and were all present during the inauguration in Abuja which was chaired by the Commissioner for Insurance, Mr. Mohammed Kari.
The Insurers’ Committee is similar to the Bankers’ Committee and offers opportunity to industry players to engage in meaningful discussions on the issues and challenges of the sector while proffering solutions. Post-inauguration, the Committee is expected to meet once every month.
Creation of EAIPN
The National Insurance Commission, NAICOM, also inaugurated fourteen insurance companies to operate the technical management board of the Energy and Allied Risks Insurance Pool of Nigeria (EAIPN). It is hoped that inauguration of the EAIPN will help the insurance industry retain capacity in oil & gas risks underwriting, curb capital flight and grow the local market in energy and allied risks underwriting.
The companies include, Leadway Assurance Company limited, Custodian & Allied Insurance Plc, Aiico Insurance Plc, Lasaco Assurance Plc, Royal Exchange Insurance Co. Ltd, Consolidated Hallmark Insurance Plc, and Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc. Others are Linkage Assurance Plc, Industrial And General Insurance Plc, Nigerian Agric Insurance Corporation (NAIC), Sterling Assurance Company Limited, Prestige Assurance Plc, NEM Insurance Plc and NSIA Insurance.
Chairman of the Board, Mr. Wole Oshin, stated that the Pool currently has 14 subscribers, who have contributed 40% of their subscribed lines amounting to USD 4,000,000.00. He expressed optimism that other insurance companies that have expressed their interest in the Pool will subscribe to the Pool after the launching of the EAIPN.
The Board of the Pool anticipates a situation where a large proportion of businesses emanating from the country will have some element of the Pool as it presents a great opportunity for the insurance industry to retain capacity and reduce capital flight.
Exit of Fola Daniel as Commissioner for Insurance
In the course of the year, Mr. Fola Daniel finished his eight years tenure as the commissioner for Insurance. Daniel was first appointed Commissioner for Insurance in August 2007. He came at the peak of the crisis that engulfed the insurance industry following the poor handling of the insurance industry recapitalisation exercise. Several litigations were also instituted against the Commission by major trade arms such as suits by the Nigerian Insures Association (NIA) and the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB).
These challenges, amongst others, rendered the Commission virtually incapable of discharging its regulatory oversight. This somewhat created a regulatory vacuum, pervasive poor corporate governance and management challenges in the insurance industry. This eventually culminated in a drop in the Industry’s contribution to the nation’s GDP. However, in the last eight years, all of these have been addressed to the admiration of all stakeholders and insurance penetration and projection has increased both at the states and federal level.
Appointment of Mohammed Kari as new Commissioner
Following the expiration of Daniel’s tenure as Commissioner, President Muhammadu Buhari appointed Alhaji Mohammed Kari as the new Commissioner. Kari’s appointment which is for a term of four years in the first instance, took effect from Friday, July 31, 2015. Kari started his career with Royal Exchange Assurance in 1979.
He later worked with Yankari Insurance Company until 1989, when he was appointed Executive Director in Niger Insurance Plc. In January 1992, he was appointed Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Nigeria Reinsurance Corporation, a position he held until March 1993 when he was appointed Managing Director of NICON Insurance Corporation. He served in that capacity until January 2000 when he resigned. He returned to insurance management in 2007 as the Managing Director/Chief Executive of Unity Kapital Assurance Plc, were he served for four years.
First insurance industry mega conference
In the course of the year, the Insurance Industry Consultative Council (IICC) held the maiden Insurance Industry Mega Conference. Chairman of IICC, Mr. Bola Temowo said the conference was initiated to discuss issues that stalled growth of the sector on one hand, the financial services sector and the national economy in general.
The theme of the conference “Developing Insurance Business for National Growth” was informed by the need to upscale the capacity of the industry for effective performance and improved contribution to the growth of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). “The focus of the conference will therefore be on the vital steps the insurance industry must take in the development of the business of insurance with the objective of having a major impact in the growth of the nation’s economy” Temowo said.
NCRIB gets new President
The Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB) got a new president also in the course of the year. Mr. Emmanuel Okunoren who became the president holds Fellowship of the Chartered Insurance Institute of London and Nigeria. He has experience on the NCRIB having served on strategic committees on oil and gas/local content, joint technical committees, among others. Other members of the Council, who will run its affairs for the next two years, are Shola Tinubu, Deputy President while Bola Onigbogi is Vice President.
CIIN gets new President
In the course of the year also, the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN) got a new president in the person of Mrs. Isioma Chukwuma. Chukwuma is a revered insurer with decades of experience and is the current Managing Director of Nigerian Reinsurance Corporation. Chukwuma anchors the theme of her administration on “Consolidating the Gains of Insurance Industry for National Economic Growth.”
Chukwuma’s tenure hopes to achieve the objectives of her theme as bringing the insurance institute on global stage; enhancing the institute’s certificate for global acceptability; upscaling collaboration with Chartered Insurance Institute UK; consolidating the existing collaboration with the UK Institute on cross accreditation of courses and using the CIIN Certificate to apply for fellowship of the CII, UK.
Chukwuma also said she will Work on achieving wider coverage in the presentation /distribution of the institute’s sponsored insurance textbook for Senior Secondary Schools with greater pursuit of Osun, Delta, Imo, Enugu, Anambra, Abia, Niger, Kogi, Benue, as well as Plateau States to be targeted.
Source: Vanguard News