Tuesday, June 09, 2020 / 11:45 AM / Bukola Akinyele for WebTV / Header Image Credit: @Olagamola
The National Insurance Commission has been tasked with the responsibility of giving top priority to claims payment and data management noted Mr. Ekerete Ola Gam-Ikon who was a guest on WebTV's Economy and Politics programme that discussed "NAICOM Insurance Recapitalization Extension: Implications For The Industry".
Reviewing the implications of the recapitalization extension, Ola Gam-Ikon argued that NAICOM should have closed the issue on recapitalization and moved on. According to him, NAICOM is taking the middle road of having 50% capitalization at the end of the year and the remaining balance of 50% by September 2021.
He said that investors and policyholders will have to do the hard work of determining where to go. He noted that there are companies that are indebted to individual policyholders on claims while making a mess of the efforts of NAICOM geared towards scaling up market activity. He called for a broader approach to resetting the insurance industry beyond recapitalization.
"The advantage of the extension of the recapitalization deadline is for insurers who were not able to conclude the process before COVID-19 to complete their capital raise," he said.
Speaking further he described Nigeria as one of the countries with the highest capital base in insurance in Africa. He called on NAICOM to provide a roadmap for the recapitalization process.
Speaking further, he stated that insurance is a multi-billion naira industry, but is operating at 40% capacity which means there is major headroom for growing the risk protection business. He emphasized the need for NAICOM to vigorously pursue claim payments.
Some of the government agencies and parastatals he identified include;
On the impact of the insurance industry in Nigeria, he highlighted the fact in 2019 a total of N450bn Gross Premium was realized while N300bn claims were paid in the same year.
In terms of contribution to national revenue, the industry according to Ola Gam-Ikon paid over N300bn tax to the government in 2018.
He described Insurance as an economic stabilizer and called on the Finance, Budget and National Planning Ministry to integrate the industry into the nation's fiscal strategy.
Also, the insurance expert urged NAICOM and other stakeholders to take seriously the promotion of innovative products that would appeal to the millennials, who constitute a huge segment of the country's population.
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