By Patience Saghana
The Minister ofÂ Finance, Mr Remi Bablola has said that the N100 million capital base for insurance brokers is mere speculation.
Babalola dispelled the rumours about the proposed increase in the capital base of insurance brokers to N100 million while receiving the delegation of the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers led by its President, Dr Teslim Sanusi in Abuja recently.
The finance minister said agitations about the proposed increase in capital base of insurance brokers was speculative as the recommendations of Insurance Law Review Committee which purportedly prescribed the increase was yet to run its full course as a law.
He confirmed that the committee had submitted its report but that the review was holistic as it was meant to galvanise the entire insurance industry towards better performance.
â€œThe major challenges that motivated government towards the review of the law was based on the need to appraise the position of the insurance industry at the moment vis-a-vis where we want it to be in the next 40 years.â€
While noting that insurance is the bedrock of the financial services sector in view of the inevitability of risks exposure and the need for its mitigation, Babalola underscored the cardinal place of insurance brokers in view of their spread all over the country as well as their closeness to the people.â€œIf we sincerely hope to resituate the insurance industry, itâ€™s the insurance brokers we need to work on because they are the closest to the insurance public and their actions could either make or mar the industry,â€
The minister asserted.Dr Teslim Sanusi, NCRIB president said that there were speculations about certain provisions of the Insurance review to the effect that the capital base of insurance brokers would be buoyed up to N100 million, an action which he said was not in tandem with the professional status of insurance brokers who were the professional arm of the insurance industry.
â€œWe believe that such speculation has not rightly placed insurance brokers on the same pedestal as other professionals in the legal profession, advertising, architecture, etcetera, who do not need any form of capital base to operate as professionals. All they have to sell is their skills and expertise,â€ Sanusi said.
The president commended the minister for his concern for a vibrant insurance industry, noting that through the various newly introduced market initiatives, the insurance industry would soon be able to play its pivotal role in national economic growth and development.