By Rosemary Onuoha
The Nigerian Insurers Association, NIA, has accused the Lagos State Government of frustrating its efforts to distribute the Nigerian Insurance Industry Database, NIID, device to law enforcement agents in the state.
A top official of the Association, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told Vanguard that the State Government has refused to fix a date for the launch of the device in the state. This, he said, has hampered efforts to ensure that vehicle owners carry genuine motor insurance certificates.
Investigations by Vanguard reveal that the NIA is ready to dispatch the device but the inability of the Association to get a commitment from Lagos State to fix a date for the launch has continued to hamper the smooth distribution programme.
NIID is an Information Technology based system to facilitate easy collation and dissemination of statistical and other information relating to insurance on one hand, and also serves as a vehicle for easy identification of genuine insurance documents by law enforcement agencies and relevant authorised persons.
Accordingly, the device has been successfully handed over to law enforcement agents in Ogun State and Abuja and is helping them in the fight against fake insurance.
The situation in Lagos is however different, due to as lack of government buy in, hence lack of enforcement and low awareness have undermined efforts of NIA members while fake insurance certificates continue to thrive.
Designed as a centralised repository of all insurances underwritten by NIA member companies, the Association established the NIID in 2011 as part of efforts to eliminate fake insurance documents which has denied the nation of the social and economic benefits of genuine insurance transactions. The NIID became operational in 2012.
Apart from serving as authentic repository of the Nigerian insurance industry data, the other objectives of NIID are to monitor and authenticate insurance transactions documents, as well as to reduce incidences of fraudulent insurance transactions and policies in the country
Recall that Mrs. Bola Omole, Head of NIID, said that though there was remarkable improvement in the number of vehicles insurance policies uploaded on the NIID platform from 300,000 in 2011 to 1.65 million in 2013, lack of adequate awareness about the project has also contributed to the low performance.