The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has identified inadequate insurance provision for critical government assets just as it commenced a sensitization exercise for Federal Government’s Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to support the enforcement of compulsory insurances.
The Commissioner for Insurance, Sunday Thomas, said this at the sensitization workshop for insurance desk officers of MDA’s on insurance of Federal Government assets and liabilities in Abuja.
Thomas noted that it has now imperative to put in place measures to guide MDAs on procuring adequate insurances for assets under their watch, stressing that the provision of Section 7 (d) of the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) Act 1997 stipulates that the Commission shall ensure adequate protection of strategic government assets and other properties.
According to him, Section 7 (f) of the Act, also provides that the Commission shall act as Adviser to the Federal Government on all insurance related matters,,adding that it is pertinent to note that the Commission can better achieve its task with the full cooperation of the MDAs.
He expressed concern that most assets of government are never adequately and appropriately insured, and called for urgent measures to be put in place by the Commission 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.
“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, etc, thereby saving the government money which can be channeled 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 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,” he said.
Thomas said the sensitization Workshop was aimed at equipping insurance desk officers with the necessary tools to ensure that all MDAs have adequate insurance coverage for all government assets and liabilities to curb wastage occasioned by losses of uninsured assets.
He maintained that it was expected that insurance desk officers will have the capacity to gauge the insurance protection needs of government assets under their purview and provide their principals with technical advice on the required insurance coverage for government assets and liabilities.
“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,” he posited.
He noted that government, represented by the MDAs is a critical stakeholder in the insurance value chain.