Eddie Efekoha, chairman Nigerian Insurers Association has defended the National Insurance Commission’s (NAICOM’s) commitment to protection of shareholders and policy holders in the Nigerian insurance industry.
Efekoha who is also the managing director/CEO, Consolidated Hallmark Insurance Plc said in his capacity as the NIA chairman, he can confirm to anybody that the regulator is not leaving any stone unturned in its oversight functions to see that the two most important stakeholders in the business- the investors and the policy holders are adequately protected.
Efekoha who was reacting to shareholders comments, that “NAICOM was killing the insurance industry and making companies not to pay dividend to shareholders’, says this is far from the truth.
“NAICOM is doing quite a lot, which you may not be aware of, and I can assure you things will get better over time, Efekoha said.
Sunny Nwosu, chairman independent shareholders Association of Nigeria was hard on NAICOM during an insurance company AGM in Lagos, stating the regulator was killing investor’s interest in the industry.
NAICOM in the recent past has increased its oversight functions on the insurance companies, enforcing early submission of quarterly and annual returns; enforcement of regulatory compliance; hard on companies over high management expenses as well as enforcement of claims among other issues.
All of these are targeted at protecting investors fund and ensuring that companies make profit and pay dividend to its shareholders.
NAICOM it would be recalled launched in 2015 “Prudential Guidelines for Insurance and Reinsurance Companies” targeted at protecting policy holders in the industry.
The guidelines set out the minimum prudential standards for underwriting, reinsurance, investments, reserving, outsourcing etc, required from insurance institutions to facilitate reliable sound and sustainable growth of the companies.
It also provided the board of directors and management of insurance institutions with a framework for the establishment of policies and procedures for internal control.
The objective of the guideline are to ensure that investments held are not pledged as security for the borrowings by companies; funds relating to annuity and policyholders funds are adequately protected in the event of insolvency of an insurance company; investments are held in the name of the relevant insurance company; investments representing insurance funds are not co-mingled with shareholders investments and that asset –liability management strategies are strengthened.
By the provision of the insurance Act 2003, policyholders /annuitants are protected against the risk of insolvency of an insurance company by not only establishing exclusive funds but also setting standards for investments representing them.