Underwriting firms in the country have been charged to utilise and reap the huge insurance potentials in the country.
The experts, who spoke at the inauguration of Retail Insured Family Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) in Abuja, over the weekend, said that insurance penetration of less than one per cent in the country is an aberration, when Nigeria is populated with a huge 160 million people, calling on operators to up their game.
The Managing Director, Universal Insurance Plc, Mr. Ben Ujoatuonu, who lauded the initiative, maintained that with increased public awareness and prompt settlement of claims to policyholders, Nigeria’s Insurance sector would thrive.
He said the nation’s insurance sector has great potential due to its huge population but is best be described as struggling, with less than one million adults having a form of insurance.
According to him, “Beyond restoring insurance industry confidence, there is need to further deepen insurance penetration in Nigeria.
The insurance industry must rise up to exploit Nigeria’s huge population to advantage. For a meaningful result, there should be a coordinated approach in creating awareness in the grassroots.
On a broader perspective, he said, synergies should be created between the regulator, operators and aggregators, adding that, schools awareness campaign is another major way to catch the students young.
The Chairman of the event, who is the Managing Partner, Carmel and Associates, Risk and Management Consultant, Hon. Lawrence Dafiode, commended the players in the insurance sector, while urging them to do more to drive the sector.
“We can all testify to the facts that the insurance industry in Nigeria has been performing below its potential and expectation. While many, at different times, have identified the challenges facing the industry, not much has been done to address them,” he said.

PenCom Harps On Professionalism, Integrity

From Ngozi Onyeakusi, Lagos
The National Pension Commission (PenCom) has once again called for professionalism, independence and integrity among pension operators in discharge of their duties.
The acting Director General, PenCom, Mrs Aisha Dahir-Umar, who made the call during the commissions compliance officers forum held in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital said the effort was to promote a stable and sustainable pension industry.
According to her, in an effort to promote sanity in the pension industry, the Commission adopted zero tolerance for non-compliance and consultative supervisory philosophy in the issuance of guidelines and the review of existing ones to further promote sound corporate governance in the industry and ensure the security of the pension assets.

Similarly, she assured that in addition, the Commission has this year moved to a more risk based approach to supervising pension operators by aligning its supervisory framework with that of the Financial Services Regulation Coordinating Committee (FSRCC). “We believe this will promote better risk management in licensed pension operators”.

Speaking further, she pointed out that PenCom released the framework and guidelines for the implementation of the Micro Pension Scheme, which is targeted at increased participation of employees in the informal sector, Multi-fund structure and revised guideline for Fund Accounting as well as revisedCircular for Branch opening and Service Centre by PFAs.
Circulars on pension enhancement and processing procedures of deceased benefits entitlement were also released by the Commission, she said.
Tasking the compliance officers, she noted that “the monitoring and reporting of non-compliance with regards to the implementation of these guidelines and other existing regulations remains part of the responsibilities of the Compliance Officers”.

Dahir-Umar therefore assured that the forum would focus on reviewing compliance and ethical culture;institutionalization of Know Your Customer (KYC) processes in the industry;matters of identity theft in data capturing; emerging risks and its mitigating factors as well as other general industry operational issues.