Govt agencies default in filing insurance profile covers

DESPITE request made by the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) for government Ministries, Parastatals and Agencies (MPAs) to file profiles of their respective insurance with the commission, not more than 10 per cent of the agencies complied with the demand at the end of last year.

Industry sources told The Guardian that majority of the ministries simply ignored the request principally because they have no regard for the insurance industry and its role in the economy.

According to him, by the provisions of the 1997 National Insurance Act, the commission has the responsibility to ensure adequate protection of strategic government assets and other properties and act as adviser to the Federal Government on all insurance related matters.

He said, “It is regrettable the attitude of government to the growth of insurance industry, but we are not surprised because the industry over the years has not got the support of government when you take into consideration the role of insurance in the financial intermediation.”

According to him, “government should obey the Occupiers Liability Insurance (Public Building) law by enforcing directives on ministries, parastatals and agencies to insure their assets, properties and pay appropriate premium as an example to the citizenry.”

It will be recalled in January 2012, the commission in a notice to ministries, parastatals and agencies requested for information on the status of their insurances which contain details of insurance, period of insurance, name of insurers and brokers, outstanding premium (if any), date claims was reported, action taken by the insurer so far and other relevant information pertaining to the risk.

Industry chieftains who is familiar with the matter, however, commended the commission for the effort to enforce the building law for owners or occupiers of any public building unless the government obeys the law by insuring its assets and properties as an example for the citizenry to emulate.

He said “insurance of public buildings is meant to provide avenue for compensation to third parties and users of damaged properties. However, despite all efforts by the commission, not much has been achieved in the implementation or enforcement of this provisions. This confirms the opinion of experts on compulsory insurance that it should be restricted to areas where the need is generally felt and in sectors where supervision is possible at a reasonable cost.

According to him, “the legislative framework for insurance practice in Nigeria is inadequate and ineffective. Often times we find the law making unenforceable provisions which though good on paper is almost impracticable without strong enforcement provisions. The law makes provisions for NAICOM to enforce the insurance laws against insurance companies through the inspectorate division in the commission, but provides no means of enforcement against the public in general. The commission has no power of arrest irrespective of the fact that there are sanctions provided in law”


Source: Guardian News