Expert advocate measures to strengthen regulatory services in insurance, other financial sectors
by Modestus Anaesoronye
December 13, 2017 | 12:37 am| | | Start Conversation
To achieve Nigeria’s current target in ease of doing business, targeted at enhancing economic activities and inflow of foreign direct investment into the economy, expert has advocated measures to address regulatory hindrances in the financial services industry.
Biodun Adedipe, chief consultant, B. Adedipe Associates Limited speaking at the Peninscope Professional Warranty Limited Maiden Lecture, Award and Launch of Magazine held in Lagos said the purpose of regulation is to facilitate commerce, prevent chaos and ensure level-playing ground.
Speaking on theme ‘The Effectiveness of Regulatory Bodies in the Performance of their Statutory Roles’, Adedipe said generally, the regulatory environment in financial services in Nigeria is overlapping and fragmented, and therefore comes with several inefficiencies and gaps in the extant laws, some of which are outdated and need to be aligned with the present dynamics of economic activities in the country.
According to him, in a regulatory study carried out by his firm in Nigeria in 2012/2013, there was evidence suggesting that regulation is a hindrance to business activities and investments in Nigeria.
Major findings of the study are that some of the agencies had overlapping jurisdiction that often results in supremacy contests between them, rather than collaboration and pursuit of common objective; duplication of reporting and disparate demands by regulatory agencies has adversely affected the cost of doing business and limited the scope for new investments; high cost of compliance for regulated institutions; the regulators themselves waste resources in conducting analysis of the same data, examples are such affinities exist between the CBN and NDIC as well as between the CAC and FIRS.
“The requisite tools, human capacity, appropriate technology and supporting infrastructure were inadequate in a number of the agencies, thus affecting their operations and their interface with the regulated institutions”
To address these problems, corporate governance must be strengthened in most agencies; Some regulatory bodies need their enforcement powers to be strengthened; invest in skills and knowledge enhancement for key operatives, especially with the increasing disruptions to the world system.
“Conduct regularly regulatory impact analysis (RIA) for policies to determine whether to continue with, refine or abandon a specific rule or provision; Consider merit and competence ahead of parochial, primordial sentiments in appointments to top positions in regulatory bodies; Regulatory bodies should engage more with the regulated organizations to obtain useful feedback for regulation update and the ultimate aim of creating a business-friendly environment.”
Besides that, Adedipe noted that officials of regulatory bodies should see themselves as business and commerce facilitators, and perhaps, their performance should be measured as such.
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