By Patience Saghana
All laws inhibiting laws militating against the development of insurance industry in the country are to be reviewed and amended before the end of this year ahead of December 31, 2011 deadline.
Some of the legislations that are hampering the growth of the insurance industry include the Insurance act 2003; the National Health Insurance Act, 1999; Pension Reform Act 2004; Companies Income Tax, 2007 and Employee Compensation Bill being promoted by NSITF to take Workmensâ€™ Compensation from the insurance industry.
Giving this assurance in Abuja yesterday, Senator Nkechi Nwaogu, Chairperson, Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions duringÂ Stakeholders interactive session on Insurance at the Hilton Hotel in Abuja .
The federal Government has giving completion deadline to the insurance industry among which include the review of laws and regulations hindering the growth of the sector
Senator Nwaogu in an interview with Vanguard at the session disclosed that the countryâ€™s lawmakers would come out with Insurance Act that is enduring and sector friendly.
According to her, â€œWe keep looking at the laws that do not meet the expectations of a particular sector and in this case, insurance industry. That is why we are amending the Insurance Act 2003 and before the end of this year, 2010, we will come out with a law that will stand the test of timeâ€
She said that the interactive session marked the beginning of a positive turnaround for insurance industry in Nigeria .
The Senator stated, â€œThere is urgent need to rub minds together, to brainstorm and share ideas so as to see how best we can move the insurance sector forward from the level it is today and the level the sector had been in the last ten years to a much more higher level in order for the sector to take its rightful position in economic development of this nationâ€.
â€œInsurance industry ought to be a key player in economic development as statistics have revealed that year in year out insurance industry contribute little or nothing to gross Domestic Product (GDP) of our nationâ€, she observed
She concurred, â€œThis therefore calls for sober reflection; it calls for proactive steps and at a forum such as we have today, creates an avenue for all stakeholders to rub mindsâ€
Professor Joe Irukwu, Chairman Insurance Law Review Committed told Vanguard thatÂ the insurance industry has not made significant impactÂ in the last ten years as a result ofÂ rigidÂ laws; state of the nationâ€™s economy; misconception about insurance by the insuring public and due to self inflicted practice by the sector.
He said, â€œThe objective of the present administration and the regulatory system is to have a stronger and better insurance industry. I do not think insurance industry has made much impact as it should in the last ten years. Some of the reasons are simple: Some based on the laws; some on the weal state of our national economy and others based on certain misconceptions about insurance from the public and some are self inflicted by the industry itselfâ€