By Patience Saghana
Forty-two insurance companies with not less than 300 brokers in the country have severed themselves from the protests flying in and around the media over the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation’s Consolidated Insurance Policy (NNPC-CIP) and the federal government’s group life.
The underwriters and brokers under their umbrella bodies, Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA) and the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB) detached themselves from the protests just as the two bodies denied official knowledge of any complaint to the associations’ secretariats against any act of injustice done to them over the NNPC-CIP and the group life
According to the NIA, “The attention of the Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA) has been drawn to recent publications in some national news dailies and various petitions to the President and the National Assembly, alleging malpractices in the group life insurance policy for employees of the Federal Government, coordinated by the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation.
“The allegations as contained in the publication were at no time brought to the attention of the Governing Council of the Association or any of its Committees neither did the petitioners take advantage of the established dispute resolution mechanisms.”
The umbrella body at this point cut off from those allegations thus, “The association hereby dissociates itself from the malicious allegations, publications and petitions, and advise that the allegations, publications and petitions be completely ignored,” it stated.
Mr Olusola Ladipo-Ajayi, NIA Chairman has explained that Nigerian insurance market had little or no say in the selection and pricing of the multinational accounts rather the oil company set its criteria which are strictly followed by its consultants whilst pricing is done in the international market.
According to him, “Rates applied were determined in the London market and not by our members who cover small proportion of the risk. It is standard insurance practice for those who take larger proportion of a risk to dictate the terms for others to follow.
“The policy was issued based on terms and conditions acceptable to the reinsurers at the premium charged. Our members in the Nigerian market are bound to follow the lead of those who bear the greater proportion of the risks”.
He explained that the 42 per cent of NNPC risks being underwritten by the indigenous insurance operators was the highest proportion ever retained in the country in line with the local content policy of the Federal Government in the oil and gas industry.
Of this 42 per cent, local insurance companies retained 22 per cent, the lead insurer took and another 10 per cent and Nigeria Reinsurance Corporation accounted for the remaining 10 per cent.
Meanwhile, NCRIB President, Dr Teslim Sanusi at the recent Members’ evening sponsored by Sterling Assurance Company said regrettably that the protesters did and has not drawn the attention of the governing council of the body to the qualms.
Sanusi who spoke the minds of brokers said, “The attention of the council has been drawn to recent publications and petitions by some underwriters and insurance brokers to the presidency and the national Assembly, alleging malpractices in the group life insurance policies for employees of the federal government, coordinated by the head of service of the federation.
The misgivings were not brought to the attention of the governing council by the members neither did the petitioners raised the issue with governing board of the council”.