By John Okeke
The Lead Director of Transparent Protection Limited/Gte (TPL) a membership-based, insurance sector specific NGO, Dr.Sam Chukwuka Onyeka has lauded President Muhammadu for the appointment of Mr. Sunday Thomas to pilot affairs of the National Insurance Commission.
Speaking at a briefing with journalists in Abuja at the weekend, Onyeka advised the new NAICOM boss and his team to work towards repositioning the sector.
He also assured the new management of joining forces with them to revamp the sector .
“TPL applauds Mr. President for his wisdom to appoint Mr. Sunday Thomas and his team. Unlike the immediate past management, the current team appears well positioned to drive operations at the National Insurance Commission. My advice to the new management is to be bold and courageously drive development in the sector, which has for a long time remained under-developed.
I want to see the Commission build a strong workforce that can drive insurance supervision with efficiency. I want the Commission to take the lead in creating insurance awareness at the grassroots and deepening transparency in the sector. TPL, we are ready and willing to partner the Commission on these.”
He decried that with a population of over 200 million people in Nigeria , the total number of insurance policy holders stands at about 1 million only ( less than one percent) which is far cry from the industry’s potential when compared to other countries of commensurate size.
According to him , as a system support organization, TPL seeks to proactively assist both the insurer and the insured to appreciate their rights and obligations in insurance contracts, adding ,” Over the last 8 years, we have been promoting insurance awareness through our many programmes and initiatives. Also we have been at the forefront of championing transparency in the insurance transactions. We have equally assisted our members and members of the public to recover genuine claims.”
Commenting on ongoing Recapitalization exercise in the insurance sector , he said,” I want to commend the Commissioner for Insurance, Mr. Sunday Thomas, for embarking on the ongoing recapitalization of the insurance industry. This recapitalization is actually overdue, considering that the last recapitalization exercise took place in 2007. The expected outcome includes a stronger and more resilient insurance industry. The process has gone far is moving to its conclusion.
“Our concern, however, is the negative financial impact the exercise will make on the insurance industry if the process is driven within the framework of the extant insurance regime, the Insurance Act 2003. The Act is grossly inadequate for driving the current recapitalization exercise. In particular, the definition of ‘paid up capital’ is too rigid for comfort. Among inevitable results of increasing paid up share capital under the present regime is the heavy costs of filing fees and stamp duties. This could have been avoided if ‘minimum paid up capital’ is defined more broadly. The insurance industry may be able to address this challenge through window provide by the Insurance Bill 2020,” he said.