The Federal Government has constituted a ten-member committee to review the Insurance (Consolidated) Bill.
Meanwhile, insurance industry operators have commended the government for the appointment of a committee to review the (insurance consolidated bill) as a welcome development for the industry.
The review committee is chaired by Dr. Omogbai- Omo Eboh, a renowned expert in Insurance Law would chair the committee, while Dr. Talmiz Usman (Head of Legal Department, National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) would be the Secretary. Members of the committee are a representative of Ministry of Finance; a representative of National Insurance Commission; a representative of Nigerian Insurers Association and a representative of Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers; a representative of Institute of Loss Adjusters of Nigeria; a representative of Attorney General of the Federation.
The review, upon completion, would pave the way for a new drafted bill that would be sent to the National Assembly for deliberation.
According to the Industry chieftains, the Insurance Act 2003 was long overdue for review to meet the present day realities.
It will be recalled that in March, 2009, the Federal Government appointed an Insurance Law Review Committee to review all laws and regulations relevant to insurance in Nigeria under the chairmanship of Professor Joe Irukwu. Although the committee submitted its work in 2010 and a draft revised Consolidated Insurance Bill which has been reviewed by the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice was to be submitted to the Federal Executive Council, but it ended in the Federal Ministry of Finance cooler.
In his reaction, the Chairman of the Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA), GUS Wiggle, said it is a welcome development for the insurance industry because of the significant role it will play in the development and growth of the market.
He said “It is a welcome development for the insurance industry in Nigeria because it is a confirmation of the fact that Insurance Act 2003 was long overdue for review so that it will meet the challenges of the present day business environment, to initiate laws that are in tandem with current realities.”
He said, for instance, the United Kingdom passed in 2015 a new revised insurance law, while Nigeria is still operating the 2003 Insurance Act.
Wiggle, who is also Managing Director/CEO, Linkage Assurance Plc, said “we hope the review will be done quickly. The NIA will be represented . We hope this new attempt will not suffer the delay the Consolidated Insurance bill report went through for more than eight years in the cooler. We pray that in the spirit of change of the new government, the committee will carry out its assignment speedily for the industry to have a new insurance legislation that will promote and grow the industry. It is a welcome development and we are delighted and fully in support.”
An insurance technocrat who pleaded anonymity said “We appreciate the Minister of Finance understood the importance of a new legislation for the development of insurance institutions as backbone of the economy. There is a strong link between development of insurance and economic development. In developed economies, insurance institutions are a major source of long-term capital and have dominant share in total financial assets”.
According to him, we hope government and all agencies of government will support the committee to come out with good draft report that will assist the industry to carry out its primary role of risk bearer.
The Committee is also to make other recommendations as it deems fit for the overall good of the nation’s insurance industry.
Source: The Guardian