By Patience SAGHANA
Mr Adegboyega Adepegba, Director-General of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN) in this interiew with Patience Saghana says though insurance industry has a bright future but that it can only be enhanced only when the necessary infractrutures are in place to create the righ environment for insurance business to thrive.
Future of insurance industry?
Of course, the future is very bright, but there are some conditions that must be available. The economic situation of the country must improve, because the insurance industry does not operate in a vacuum, it is operating within the economic setting of Nigeria. So, for the future to be bright which we must hope for, the economic condition of the country must also improve, the security net work of the country must improve, and basic infrastructure must be available in Nigeria. With all these in place, the future of the insurance industry in Nigeria will be very bright.
The basic objective of the institution is given to us by law and that is with the provision of Act 22 of 1992. Everything we ought to do is enunciated in the law. The institute is empowered by the Act to continue with the education and training of those who are already in the insurance industry and those who might want to join the insurance profession as new comers.
The institute is to set the standard or skill that they must attain if they should remain as insurance practitioners or professionals because there is a provision that says, if you donâ€™t update yourself, if you donâ€™t allow the institute to teach you or train you and you fall short of the minimum required standard at the MCPD programme you might be delisted. So, to remain as an insurance practitioner in Nigeria, you must be constantly updated by the institute, and to become and industry practitioner you must adhere to the standard that will be set before you can single yourself out as an insurance professional in Nigeria.
Fortunately, there are few disciplinary cases of unethical behaviours. The institute is always ready to do all that it ought to do by investigating the matter, and determine whether it is something that has to be sent to the disciplinary committee or not. If it goes beyond investigation, then it becomes a serious matter, and the disciplinary committee is suppose to look into the matter and recommend to the council the appropriate measures to be adopted. The basic thing is that if a person is found guilty of any professional misconduct after thorough investigation, the member is suspended.Thirdly, on the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) for insurance industry operation in 2010, as far as I am concerned, NAICOM guidelines are doing good;
The commission has become very very active and I am particularly happy that we are witnessing a potent regulatory body. Once again, we are witnessing a regulatory body that is doing what it should be doing without fear of favour, a regulatory body that is applying the rules as they are in the books and a regulatory body that is determined to ride the insurance industry of the ills that we have witnessed. So, I just want to commend the commission and I know that the industry operators have already toed the line. This will only help all of us to operate in a same industry.
Number of graduates so far?
One of the basic things we have been doing in the institute is to conduct exams and to certify those who will become insurance professionals in Nigeria. The exams started 22 years ago, and within 22 years, we have graduated over 1,289 diploma holders. You might be wondering how we have been able to certify just 1,289 in 22 years from 1989.
As a professional institute, we can only certify those who have satisfied all the conditions, but in the next five years as I said earlier, we are open to new entrance to the professions, those who will come in with their degrees from other disciplines and earn their exemptions and go in and do all the technical subjects may be in a period of two years or less and become insurance professional in Nigeria. So, the number is likely to increase in the next two or three years.
Cost of a professional?
First, if you want to start the exams, you must register as a member. It will cost you less than N2, 000 after which you obtain the current year subscription, and register as a student for the examinations. How much you will pay depends on the number of subjects you want to do, the number of exemptions you are getting because if you get exemptions you have to pay for them. But on the average you might need between N15,000 and N20,000 to sit for a particular diet, (exam) but if you are a brilliant person, and you need the certificate before the diet such a brilliant person will finish a diploma in second diet and if you are such a high flyer, you will finish the advance diploma in the third diet at the average of N2,000 per examination, that means you are looking for less than N50,000 to qualify.
Discussions with tertiary institution on insurance courses?
We were recently at the Delta State Universities, Abraka, we met with the Vice Chancellor and the response was quite encouraging. We are also proposing to meet the Nigerian University Commission (NUC) next week in Abuja, where we can give it a holistic approach; it wouldnâ€™t be based on individual universities. Now, we will take if to the NUC and NUC will now send directives to universities. I am optimistic that we should be able to get some measure of success even with our proposed visit to the NUC.