Against all odds and forces that had over the years deterred the growth of insurance industry, National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has recounted the sectorâ€™s achievements in recent years.
Mr Fola Daniel, Commissioner for Insurance, at the maiden edition of Insurance Directorsâ€™ Seminar on Corporate Governance in Lagos last week, said that the insurance industry has in recent years been enjoying the benefits of the federal government reforms which he said, the commission can gracefully highlight at any point in time.
Some of the achievements of the industry in the last 36months include: Improved capital base of operators; re_branding of the sector laced with improved corporate and industry image and improved underwriting capacity and ability to participate in big businesses; increased ability to attract and retain talents;
Others he mentioned, are the establishment of cross border subsidiaries and businesses across several African countries and expansion of business opportunities such as the compulsory insurances.
According to Insurance Commissioner, â€œWe are justifiably proud of the significant achievements recorded by these reforms. We all know that the victory against the forces that held our industry down is still a long way off. This realization informed the continued effort of NAICOM to strengthen its own regulatory capacity and assist the players to deal with those issues critical to their cussesâ€.
He said, â€œOne lesson we learnt in the reform effort initiated by NAICOM over the years is that it is relatively easy to effect changes in legislation and rules but far more difficult to change the ingrained attitudes, dispositions and practicesâ€. Daniel said it was easy for insurance companies to blame their ineptitude on the environment rather than digging out the rot in their various organizational system.
He stated, â€œIt is quite easy for us individual practitioners and firms to point fingers at environmental factors that constraints our businesses but far more difficult to take a critical look at inwards to examine the way we manage the businesses and how we inadvertently shackle the corporations we manageâ€.
The trading of corporate afflictions, NAICOM, recalled informed the commission upping the corporate governance level of the insurance industry.
The major step the commission took in that direction, he illuminated, was to develop a Code of Good Corporate Governance for the industry last year. The code, he explained further, was meant to set clear standards and provide appropriate guidelines for the players on important issues of governanceâ€.
In spite of all that, the commission had put in place for the betterment of the entire sector, Insurance commissioner said that some challenges are still calling for attention. â€œWe are quite familiar with the challenges which our industry faced in the recent past. Some of these challenges have been adequately addressed while others are still with usâ€.