The federal government has assured that it will offset all outstanding premiums owed the insurance industry as soon as the dwindling economic situation of the country improves.
The Government unpaid premiums on group life insurance is said to be in excess of N10 billion.
Minister of finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun made the disclosure at the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) 2015 staff retreat in Abuja.
Adeosun, who was represented by the director, Home Finance in the Ministry, Alhaji Kari Zakji, said the government is conscious of its debt to the sector and will endeavour to clear it as soon the nation recovers from the economic downturn.
“Government meeting its responsibility of paying premiums to some extent is a challenge; you will also agree with me that there is a serious situation in the country in terms of revenue that accrues to government,” Adeosun said.
“The tasks ahead are onerous and it is the expectation of government that the Nigerian insurance industry should wake up to its responsibilities and as a potential growth area of our economy, it must accept the challenges of change.
“It must surmount its timidity, shape up and contribute to the turnaround of the economy. It must contribute positively to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and creation of employment. It can achieve these by cleaning itself of the bad eggs within itself and by improving its services to its consumers.”
Welcoming the various cadres of staff of NAICOM, the Commissioner for Insurance, Alhaji Mohammed Kari said the insurance industry has made frantic effort at recovering federal government outstanding premium owed to the companies.
Kari said that the commission is looking at reviewing federal government insurance policies to meet the desired requirement of present day insurance.
The CFI bemoaned that the existing insurance policies of the federal government did not have the inputs of insurance professionals hence the need to review them.
“The whole idea is to review the policies they have because we believe that those policies were developed without inputs from insurance experts and they seem not to have understood where we are coming from.”
On the effort the sector has made so far, Kari informed that the Commission on behalf of the sector has been reaching out to stakeholders of the industry including government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) on imperative of prompt payment of premium.