By Patience Saghana
The Institute of Loss Adjusters of Nigeria (ILAN) plans to continue lobbying the legislators at the National assembly with a view to ensure that the law making body in the country grants it a charter status as soon as possible just as the institute is craving for an upward review of its members fees.
Mr. Darlington Mgbojikwe, ILAN President,, who made this known in Lagos, also stated that the institute is working hard to kick start the ILAN Oil and Energy Pool, a platform on which its members hope to play active roles in the countryâ€™s oil and gas industry.
He pointed out that the Insurance Act 2003 made necessary legal provisions for the institute to run as a full_fledge professional body.
He reviewed the efforts that the leadership of the body has put into this venture, saying â€œI promised to speed up actions towards acquisition of our own charter status as the case in the United Kingdom. The achievement of this will certainly redefine the loss adjusting landscape in Nigeria. You can imagine and appreciate what it will be when, in the near future, you are introduced at professional circles or even at a social gathering as a Chartered Adjuster.â€
â€œWe have in our fold the likes of Senator Yinka Omilani and I have personally made contacts and met with some Senators and members of the Federal House of Representatives and they assured me that they will push the bill for us. They have successfully pushed the bill for listing and first reading on the floor of the House last week,â€ he said.
Mgbojikwe also expressed optimism that the National Assembly would soon grant ILAN the charter which would enable it operate as a professional body, encouraged members of the institute to support to this worthy goal whenever they would be called upon to do so.
â€œThis is an expensive venture and we have collectively agreed to pursue and achieve it before the end of the current legislative year. With this array of personalities, I cannot but assure you that this project will be achieve soon with the aid of your moral and financial supports.Â ILAN, both corporate and individual members will be approached as and when the need arises for loans and levies will be introduced towards the achievement of this very important set objective,â€ he said.
Also speaking on the efforts made by the institute to ensure that its members reap the expected benefits from the Local Content Policy of the Federal Government recalling that â€œthe Federal Government introduced a local content policy in the oil and gas industry that will enable local underwriters to acquire 70 percent of risk by the year 2010â€.
â€œThough the insurance industry has not achieved much, ILAN has a committee working on the modalities of our participation in the adjustment of losses that are likely to arise from these risks,â€ he added.
Meanwhile, Mgbojikwe explained that ILAN has made series of appeal to insurance companies through their umbrella body, Nigeria Insurers Association (NIA)to review its members fee without any positive response frm insurers.
He said that as loss adjusters, the job was very hazardous, noting that â€œwe could be harmed by an aggrieved claimant whilst carrying out an assignment. We are exposed to air, road traffic accidents and all others difficulties.
â€œWe are not well remunerated and thus cannot even afford brand new cars nor live in exotic neighbourhood like our counterparts in the other arms of the industry.â€
He continued: â€œOur undoing in Nigeria is that loss adjusting is the only profession where the consumer approves the tariff for computing the fee and not on â€˜time spent basisâ€™ as practiced in other parts of the world.â€
He further said that the scale system had been jettisoned in many developed economies for a more progressive system of charging on hourly rate.
ILAN has made a tactical withdrawal of the new scale in the hope that all stakeholders would keep faith with the gentlemanâ€™s appeal and proposition.
â€œWe may have to adopt other strategies, but I have to remind us that we have to make sacrifices on our personal gains for the achievement of collective gains for the progress of our profession,â€ he said.