MR. Jimoh Ibrahim, chairman of Nicon Insurance Group has charged the National Insurance Commission (Naicom) to be a regulator and not a bully.
According to Jimoh, Naicom tends to be bullying and intimidating operators in the insurance sector by some of the policies it is churning out.
Policies such as the one that an insurance practitioner cannot be a board member of two or more insurance companies, according to Ibrahim is nothing short of intimidation because it is not in tandem with the Act setting up the corporate affairs commission.
In his words “I do not think that we should allow the insurance industry to be intimidated either by the system or by the policy. Naicom should come up with courageous policies to support the operators.”
“The regulators are to support the operators they are not to kill the operators. If they kill the operators then they will not have any body to regulate. If any insurance company goes under, then the regulator should be queried. Nobody should be allowed to go under,” Ibrahim stressed.
Meanwhile, Mr. Eddie Efekoha, managing director of Consolidated Hallmark Insurance Plc has called on Naicom to maintain the high level of regulation being carried out in the industry now.
According to him, the level of regulation is an indication that there is hope for the sector.
Efekoha noted that although the number of players is still on the high side, coupled with the unethical practices that are still prevalent in the industry, Naicom is trying to do a good job.
In his words “In terms of number of players operating in the industry, it is still many and the fact that the desired discipline is not yet on the underwriting side, there is hope against the backdrop of increased regulation.”
Accordingly, the Naicom has warned that henceforth, it will not condone companies that voluntarily or involuntarily shield their books from inspection.
Mr. Fola Daniel, commissioner for insurance (CfI) who gave this warning noted that the commission will no longer tolerate inadequate financial disclosure and all other forms of unethical practices from any operator.
In his words “Naicom would not hesitate to sanction any firm found engaging in unethical behaviour.”
The commissioner added that the Market Development and Restructuring Initiative (MDRI) being implemented by Naicom would help to increase the sector’s premium to N6 trillion by 2010.
He said, “As we move on this decade, we hope to midwife an industry of highly skilled and motivated workforce; an industry committed to international best practices, an information technology driven regulatory and market environment as well as effective supervision.”
Naicom, he added, was poised to adopt a risk based capital and supervision model, transparent public financial statements, timely market information and an insurance market that is able to compete globally.