The National Insurance Commission has unveiled the strategic plan 2021-2023 with clear details of goals, objectives and deliverables, it was a four month intense work in the Commission’s research and development fort that transcends a wish list but sends a clear message of what will not be done .
The Commissioner of Insurance, Mr. O Sunday Thomas, in his remark outlining the five point strategic agenda at the concluded training for insurance journalist in Lagos at the weekend, said the Commission has been able to achieve stability in the insurance market and the impact of this is evident in the enhanced role the market continues to play in the industry and the nation at large.
Mr Thomas first mention was the N9.2bn set aside for group life premium for 2021-2022 cover for federal civil servants and paramilitary service; following after is the N12,2tr pension funds. He reckons in the establishing remark, the position of insurance in pension business to buttress the potential the market has in that sector and this is underscored by the joint guidelines issued by the pension regulator, National Pension Commission and NAICOM.
Not satisfied with the level of insurance reach in the business it could earn from pension assets tilted to the underwriters, Thomas said their involvement so far qualifies for scratch at the surface. He said its expected that a reasonable amount of the pension funds should be ceded to the insurance industry.
He remarked that the pension reach for insurers was aided by the joint action of the pension and insurance regulators. Taken a cue from that, he said there is going to be an increase in insurance participation in oil and gas business. He explained further that this is coming under the flying seal of a guideline in the works.
To get this done and ultimately a deliverable, he said the law on the Nigeria content will receive a boost from a guideline that will seal the leakages which hitherto had made it difficult for the local content to make a mark for Nigerian participation. He promised that the guidelines will restore fading hope in the local content.
The CFI said the Commission is on numerous fronts including transiting from rule based to risk based supervision. The ultimate is to uptick insurance premium and create a new surge. He said the Commission is committed to grow life and non-life insurance operations as never done before and this includes resuscitating the moribund insurance committee to explore further ways of attending to insurance development and growth through operators participation in policy formulation. Also on the growth chart of the Commission are the reinsurance companies. He pointed out that the recent grant of licences to companies captures the growth strategy of NAICOM. Telling the growth minded story are the three new life companies out of the four licenced companies coming a decade after such exercise was done and also, a reinsurer to spur the growth of the reinsurance businesses also coming 35 years after a similar operation licence.
Also gaining traction is financial inclusion as it relates to insurance. He remarked that FI has become a national policy and insurance is not in the frontline and what the market is still doing is “playing catch up” and this cannot be sustained. To match with the other finance service providers, he said NAICOM is reloading the micro insurance and Takaful companies. He disclosed that two micro insurance companies are on the verge of receiving licences.
Thomas said several dimensions of market development are ongoing including developing an actuarial analyst capacity in the country, as the first step to having qualified actuary. He also said the Commission is developing structures to keep improving the supply side. Also achieved is a functioning robust portal which is already up and running and still being developed and also, engaging state governments with a view to spread out the benefit of insurance for the states.