BY RITA OBODOECHINA
The Nigerian Insurers Association, NIA, said it will engage the Presidency and the National Assembly on the need to put up laws that will address the various challenges confronting the insurance industry.
Chairman of NIA, Mr. Remi Olowude, who said this at his investiture ceremony in Lagos, said the NIA intends to initiate interactive sessions with the appropriate committees or organs of the two chambers of the National Assembly to discuss issues such as restrictive laws on insurance practice, multiple taxation, insurance awareness and penetration, development of oil and gas industry among other issues.
He said, the NIA will organise annual or bi-annual insurance seminars for judges and the leadership of the Nigerian Bar Association so as to strengthen its relationships with the different organs of the Judiciary.
According to Olowude, the seminars will focus on developments in insurance law in Nigeria, and ensure that the judiciary, legal profession, the regulators, and practitioners in the insurance industry as well as the media have a mutual understanding of insurance law and practice.
“The more people understand the law, the less the courts are inundated with avoidable suits,” he stated.
He further stated that it has become aware of the needs to take deliberate steps towards closer interaction and strategic partnership with all stakeholders, particularly the major three arms of Government.
He disclosed that the NIA plans to meet with the presidency to discuss issues bordering on the key roles of the insurance industry in the transformation of the Nigerian economy.
He said, “The Governing Council will consider seeking an audience with the Presidency to table issues such as the key roles of insurance to the socio-economic growth and development of the nation; how the insurance industry and the government can collaborate in areas of poverty alleviation; the need to give the industry the opportunity to contribute to the formulation of certain government policies; insurance industry representation in appropriate government committees; among others.
“Closely related to this is the need to restructure and strengthen the NIA secretariat for effective public sector liaison and monitoring of the political and legal environment as it affects insurance.”
Olowude maintained that the NIA will strengthen its partnership with other members of the organised private sector, saying it will increase its participation and representation in the activities and deliberations of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Manufacturing and Agriculture, the Chambers of Commerce and Industry in Lagos, Kaduna, Abuja and Port Harcourt, and the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association.
To reduce the burden of marine insurance claims, he said, “The NIA will also support the activities of the Cargo Defence Fund, an offshoot of the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC). We shall collaborate with the NSC to introduce Protection and Indemnity insurance clubs, to monitor developments in maritime law on carriage of goods by sea and related international conventions.
“It is my conviction that this kind of collaboration will help to develop marine insurance generally by ensuring full protection of maritime risks, backed by authentic and strong reinsurance cover to lighten the burden of marine insurance claims.”