The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has denied collecting levies outside the prescription of the law.
The Commission, of recent, has been accused by stakeholders of impunity, charging so many levies, imposing anti-growth sanctions and corruption.
But the Commissioner for Insurance Alhaji Mohammed Kari strongly put up a defence on the issue when he spoke at the 2015 Champion Insurance Day organised by Champion Newspapers in Lagos, insisting that the regulator has always acted within the ambit of the law.
He explained that the one per cent insurance levy charged by the commission on insurance firms is a statutory provision contained in the law and not a regulation of NAICOM.
Kari noted that section 16 (1)(b) of the NAICOM Act 1997 mandates all insurance institutions to remit one per cent of their gross premium to the commission as insurance levy adding that the system of funding of regulators also applies to most sector regulators in Nigeria – the FIRS, CBN, SEC, NDIC, PenCom.
The commissioner described the pressure by shareholders on the penalty levy on insurance firms as deliberate misinformation and misleading as well as usage of the shareholders as stooges by management of some insurance companies to cover up their gross financial mismanagement of their companies.
He however said the commission sympathises with the shareholders because they have a right to be aggrieved over the nil returns on their investments, adding that Operators, who choose to play in the sector must be prepared to do so in strict compliance with the extant insurance laws.
“Fines and sanctions for any default/infraction by an operator are clearly spent out in the respective laws to the knowledge and understanding of the operators.