Published On: Sun, Sep 24th, 2017

Consolidation: NAICOM suspends licence issuance

EMEKA EJERE

The Commissioner for Insurance, Mr. Mohammed Kari, has said that the National Insurance Commission has refused to issue new operational licences to insurance firms because it is better for the industry to embrace consolidation than to start new companies.

Kari spoke during the Annual Insurance Professional Forum of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN) with the theme: ‘Solvency, Stability and Growth-Exploring Possibilities’, in Abeokuta, Ogun State on Thursday.

Stakeholders from the insurance industry and other dignitaries were present at the event.

The Commissioner also noted that after the Nigerian Insurers Association confirmed that there was dearth of professionals for all classes of insurance in the industry, it would not be wise to continue to issue new licences because it was better for the operators to engage in training and development of professionals.

“Given that statement, we concluded that some want to continue to be sole administrators of their companies, or if that assertion is true, then we have too many operational licences out there. Either way, there is justification for further consolidation in the industry,” Kari stated.

Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, assured the insurance operators that the state would support them.

While stating that Ogun had become one of the top five most convenient states to do business in Nigeria, he promised to give the insurance industry two operational offices.

The President, CIIN, Mrs. Funmi Babington-Ashaye, said that the theme of the forum was carefully chosen to draw attention to some of the critical challenges currently facing the industry so that the professionals could collectively evolve strategic solutions for the benefit of the industry.

She stated, “When the economy was growing at an impressive rate and prospering, all sectors, including the insurance industry, also flourished.

“Similarly, since the economy has been experiencing serious macroeconomic challenges, which currently manifest in sharp drop in productive and economic activities, high unemployment and crime rates, delinquent credit facilities and failure of many businesses, the insurance business is inevitably affected.”

The CIIN boss added that the need to meet insurance obligations had increased with these challenges.

As an industry that indemnifies investors and risk takers, she said that insurance underwriters must remain stable, strong, resilient and financially solvent enough to meet emerging obligations.

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