By Bisi Bamishe
The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) under thr leadership of Commissioner for Insurance, Sunday Thomas has remained resilient and focused on implementing initiatives that will foster development of the Nigerian insurance industry and align its fortune with that of the nation as the Africa largest economy.
This was disclosed by Thomas at the opening ceremony of 2023
National Insurance Conference that took off at Abuja Continental Hotel this morning.
The National Insurance Conference is one of the initiatives of the Commission to achieve the objective of incentivizing the law enforcement agencies, State Governments, relevant professional bodies and all other stakeholders.
The Conference with the theme “Redefining Safety – Insurance Solutions for Public Buildings and Buildings under Construction” is only one out of numerous efforts of the Commission at creating the needed awareness of the general public of compulsory insurances.
Highlighting the flagship projects being implemented by the Commission as part of the medium term NAICOM Strategic Plan 2021–2023, Thomas said they include;
i) Ensuring improved safety and soundness of the Nigerian insurance sector to continue to de-risk economic activities of Nigerians through the enhancement of our prudential regulatory tools and good corporate governance practices
ii) Migration of the Commission’s supervisory regime to align with global best practices.
ii) Implementation of Project E-Regulation through operationalized Business Process Management Solution and NAICOM Portal.
iv) Implementation of an actuarial capacity development programme for the Nigerian insurance industry. v) Opening up the insurance supply-side through licensing of twelve (12) additional new entrants and expansion of insurance distribution channels, etc.
vi) The Commission as part of its support to government initiatives mobilized the insurance industry to contribute the sum of N500million and free Life Insurance cover for front line workers in the management of the COVID-19 Pandemic
vii) The Commission has continue to reach out to State governments and relevant security agencies in the enforcement of compulsory insurances.
viii) The Commission also provided financial assistance to tertiary institutions in Nigeria to facilitate education of professionals required by the insurance sector.
According to Thomas, the industry premium income between 2014 and 2022 grew at an average of 13.6%; from a premium income of N282 Billion to N726.2 Billion. The total assets of the sector also grew at an average of 12% for the same period; from an asset base of N827.5 Billion in 2014 to N2.33 Trillion in 2022.
“Notwithstanding the growth that had been sustained, the roadmap enumerated some of the challenges affecting the desired growth of the insurance industry which had persisted, such as: Talent gap, Comparatively low public awareness, Insurance affordability, Lack of trust and confidence in insurers, Cultural and religious bias, Inadequate distribution channels, Low enforcement of insurance, and others”, he stated..
Thomas further revealed that over the next decade (2024-2033), the Insurance industry will seek to continue its transformation journey along the following Seven (7) strategic thrusts with the objective of achieving the corresponding goals;
i. Transform the regulatory environment to sustain the industry growth
ii. Transition to risk-based capital model
iii. Promote insurance awareness and adoption
iv. Broaden insurance product offerings and improve effectiveness of distribution channels
v. Enhance digitalization of the insurance industry
vi. Deepen the industry’s talent pool and capabilities
vii. Support Nigeria’s economic transformation and sustainability agenda