NAICOM Demands Sound Business Ethics From Insurance Operators

Yemisi Izuora

The National Insurance Commission, NAICOM, has reminded Insurance Firms of the need to adopt and abide by business etiquette and ethics in all their professional dealings.

The regulator told operators at the 2020 Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB), CEOs’ Retreat that the unprofessional conduct of a few people is posing great danger to the collective integrity of the industry.

Thomas O. S., Commissioner for Insurance/CEO of NAICOM, in his remarks at the forum noted that over the years, a lot has been put into improving the fragile image and perception of insurance in the country.

“It is high time we all rise up to the menace of unethical business behaviour in our sector.

“As the insurance industry positions itself for Post Covid-19 Era, the demands of the insuring public will require sound work ethics for us to optimize performance.” Thomas said.

He charged them that as intermediaries, business sincerity and customers’ satisfaction must be central to their core business principles.
The Commission, he said has always and will at all-times extend her full support to all stakeholders in the industry in their drive for business growth and development.

The CEO, said the Commission is open to new ideas and shall continue to introduce new reforms and initiatives in line with international best practices that will strengthen our institutions.

Thomas, stated that the year has no doubt been a very challenging one for the sector, individual households and the economy at large as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, to the insurance sector, the situation calls for a paradigm shift from the usual way of business practice, and thus it is therefore imperative on the industry to embrace and align its businesses to the new world order if it must be seen to be relevant, he advised.

He said NAICOM is also adjusting to the challenges and/or opportunities which the pandemic has imposed on the socio-economic and business environment.

The Commissioner listed the fall outs of COVID-19 to include the review of the Recapitalization Program and its extension in recognition of the current realities, automation of the Commission’s processes for prompt service delivery and the E-Portal for regulatory submission of various applications by operators and obtaining E-approvals which is in the final stage and the framework for Digitalization of operations (such as IT Standards, Web Aggregators, Regulatory Sandbox, etc) of regulated entities now in progress

He observed that the, “Annual NCRIB retreat for CEOs has always been an avenue to interact and share ideas for the betterment of the insurance broking business in particular and the sector at large.

” It will delight you to know that the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) will always take keen interest in the deliberations and subsequent outcomes from this annual gathering. Some of your past retreat have contributed to shaping certain regulations and policies of the Commission.”

Thomas, also noted that the choice of the theme “X-Raying the Finance Act 2020” is apt and couldn’t have come at a better time than now when the heat of the COVID-19 pandemic is taking its toll on the financial services sector.

The previous Tax Laws were quite stringent on insurance operators in a manner that, permitted double taxation by taxing investment income and policyholders’ funds, allowed tax losses to be carried forward only for a maximum of 4 years of assessment contrary to what was obtainable in other businesses and tax deductible claims and other outgoings were limited to 25 per cent of total premium for general business, in contrast to what was obtainable in other businesses.

He also noted that the previous tax regime did not allow a full tax deduction on unexpired risk provision in relation to the financial year.

 

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