The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has urged federal government’s Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to domesticate and help in the enforcement of compulsory insurance.
The Commissioner for Insurance, Sunday Thomas, made this demand at the sensitisation workshop in Abuja for insurance desk officers of MDAs on the need to insure federal government assets and liabilities.
Thomas explained that it was now compulsory to put in place measures to guide MDAs on procuring adequate insurances for assets under their watch.
According to him, this follows the provision contained in Section 7 (d) of the NAICOM Act 1997 which stipulates that the commission shall ensure adequate protection of strategic government assets and other properties.
Section 7 (f) of the Act also provides that the commission shall act as Adviser to the federal government on all insurance-related matters.
He aslo noted that it was pertinent to note that the agency can better achieve its task with the full cooperation of the MDAs.
Thomas said it was very worrisome to the commission that most assets and liabilities of government are never adequately and appropriately insured, which further draws attention to the need for urgent measures to be put in place by the agency to ensure that government gets value for money in the purchase of insurance by MDAs and that it is the desire of NAICOM to change this narrative for good.
He said: “The essence of insurance of government assets and liabilities is to cushion the impact and reduce the burden that the government would have to bear in likely occurrences of catastrophic events such as natural disasters, fire, accidents, building collapse, injuries or death to third parties, thereby saving the government money which can be channelled towards augmenting the needs of the citizenry, providing infrastructure, and creating employment, among others.
“As you may be aware, NAICOM in 2009, launched the Market Development and Restructuring Initiative (MDRI) project which aimed at the creation of awareness on compulsory insurance products, education of the public on the long-term benefits of insurance to policyholders and the economy at large, among others.
“While NAICOM bore the responsibility of disseminating key messaging on the benefits of compulsory insurance, we relied on government Ministries, Departments and Agencies to help domesticate the Initiative in their respective offices and perhaps, serve as the primary vehicles for enforcement of compulsory insurances in their various MDAs.
“Building the capacity of insurance desk officers, enthroning transparency and accountability to ensure that government gets value for money in the purchase of insurance thus taking us all a step further in contributing effectively to the economic growth and development of Nigeria is an ongoing project of the Commission.”
The commissioner added that the government, represented by the MDAs is a critical stakeholder in the insurance value chain.