Not more than 10 per cent of government Ministries, Parastatals and Agencies (MPAs) complied with the request made by the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) to file profiles of their respective insurance with the commission at the end of last year.
Majority of the ministries simply ignored the demands principally because they have no regard for the insurance industry and its role in the economy.
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.
According to industry sources, “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.”
“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.”
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.
According to him, “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.
He said, “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: The Guardian