NAICOM urges govt agencies to comply with extant laws
THE National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has advised Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government (MDAs) to ensure compliance with the provisions of extant laws in relation to insurance of government assets, as well as support the industry as risk bearers in the economy.
The Commissioner for Insurance/Chief Executive of the commission, Mohammed Kari, speaking at a meeting with the Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd), in Abuja, said the commission is the adviser to government on all insurance related matters by virtue of the provision of Section 7(F) of the NAICOM Act 1997.
He advised the Custom Service to explore this window of opportunity by ensuring that the NCS comply with the provisions of the law in all its insurance activities. He pledged the full support of NAICOM to NCS in the insurances of its assets and liabilities.
Kari also advised the Customs boss on the need to link the NCS database with the insurance industry database for authentication and identification of genuine insurance policies especially on marine and air freight insurances.
He called on all MDAs to set up insurance desks or units in their various offices and manned by qualified insurance professionals to handle the insurance of their assets.
He stressed that advising the government and all its agencies on insurance matters is one of the key functions of the commission and was prepared to offer this service to ensure adequate insurance and protection of all government assets.
The Comptroller General in his response expressed the preparedness of the service to collaborate with NAICOM in all insurance activities of the Custom Service. He suggested the setting up of a joint committee between the two agencies to evolve a working relationship between them.
At the end of the meeting, the two agencies pledged to collaborate and work together to ensure the process of insuring the assets of the NCS is seamless, efficient and adequate.
It will be recalled that insurance managers have expressed worry over recent report that in 2014, the N2 billion budgeted for insurance of government assets by the agencies, only 10 per cent of the amount was released while the bulk of the insurance funds was diverted by the agencies to other unknown activities.
Insurance managers, worried by this development, said government inability to respect the extant laws and honour promises made particularly in insuring assets and payment of premiums was a disservice to the industry. According to insurers, government agencies should obey the Occupiers Liability Insurance (Public Building) law and support the industry to carry out the enormous risks in various sectors of the economy.
According to insurers, insurance business is the fulcrum in which all economic activities revolve, government has the primary duty as the greatest spender in the economy to support and encourage the industry to grow by insuring its assets and pay appropriate premium as and when due.
The insurance managers lamented that government has not obeyed Section 50(1) of the Insurance Act 2003, which stipulates that “the receipt of an insurance premium shall be a condition precedent to a valid contract of insurance and there shall be no cover in respect of an insurance unless the premium is paid in advance. Invariably, it presupposes that no insurance cover shall be granted by any insurance company without having received the premium. This law, insurers say, gover5nment agencies has consistently disobeyed, showing a disregard for the law it had made, and poor example to the insuring public on the importance of insurance in the economy.