The House of Representatives has reiterated its resolve towards ensuring accountability of $18 million insurance fund by the management of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).
Chairman, House Committee on Insurance and Actuarial Matters, Hon Darlington Nwokocha, who disclosed this during a chat with Tribune Online, expressed the need for Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and other institutions to account for their stewardship.
He stressed the need for the stakeholders to tell Nigerians how they have managed the insurance funds. Like in NPA $18 million, we have been investigating that, in NIMASA the same thing and so many big agencies they should come and tell Nigerians how they spent that within the time in question and at the end of the day we must surely tidy up for Nigerians have confidence in the industry.”
Hon Nwokocha who expressed displeasure over the refusal of heads of various Ministries, Departments and Agencies as well as insurance companies to honour the Committee’s invitation, however, noted that the House will use all the relevant legislative instrument to compel erring personnel to appear.
“The House Committee on Insurance and Actuarial Matters saddled with the responsibility of looking into the insurance companies and agencies, ministries and departments across the country we’ve been carrying our investigative hearing within the schedule and well communicated to several insurance companies and broking firms and a good number of them turned up while a good number of them refused to come, all in the name that they are very big firms because they are bigger than the National Assembly and bigger than the nation.
“But they seem to forget that the illicit financial flow in this country today which is a major concern to the Committee, the National Assembly and the entire nation because most of the insurances that are being placed involved major organisations and insurance companies use such channels to cart away funds all in the name of placing insurance transactions across the board and outside the country.
“But I want to promise with the support and the leave of the Committee and the entire House that no organization, ministries, departments and agencies that are being invited to this place and refuse to come, we will compel them to come because we have all the legislative instruments to drive them to this place
“We are not representing ourselves so we are representing the Federal Republic of Nigeria, we have the interest of every person because Nigerian economy must revolve around insurance and for us to get it right and considering the fact as well that we are carrying out, very robust amendment of the Insurance Act.
“And if we pass through all these processes and amend the Act without proper enforcement, we will end up having nothing to show for it.
“So I want to assure all Nigerians that we must get to the root of every investigation so that by the time the Act is out, we must have cleaned up the entire insurance system to have a very robust insurance industry that every Nigerian will be happy to have,” he noted.
Hon. Nwokocha explained that the Committee will continue its investigation this week, adding that several organisations have been invited to respond to various concerns.
While responding to a question on the role of the regulatory agency – posited that National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), Hon Nwokocha noted that the “existing law is moribund, that is why we are trying to bring it up to speed so that they (NAICOM) can effectively oversee the activities of the insurance companies.”
While reacting to question on the insurance penetration, he noted that “insurance penetration can only be effective where you have an effective Act, not only that, I want to see how the Act can drive from the corporate insurance platform to retail insurance platform where vehicles, markets and some other areas that involved individuals at the lower ebb would find it very interesting to engage in insurance.” Source: Tribuneonline