By Rosemary Onuoha
The National Insurance Commission, NAICOM, has charged insurance operators to ensure that only professionals are allowed to carry out the business of insurance. Commissioner for Insurance and Chief Executive of the National Insurance Commission, NAICOM, Mr. Mohammed Kari, who gave the charge, noted that the influx of non professionals into the insurance industry is denting the image of the sector.
Kari who spoke in Lagos regretted that the insurance profession is the most bastardised because operators have allowed all manner of non professionals to penetrate the sector. Kari said, “Why should we allow other professionals to dictate what we do in this profession. We should stand up and be our own professionals.”
He charged operators to protect the insurance profession and be proud of it and do it right. According to Kari, the sector is aligning with the change policy of the federal government because insurance sector cannot be left behind in the scheme of things.
Kari said, “As we are aware, this is the era of change. The insurance industry certainly cannot be left behind in the scheme of things. I therefore urge the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria, CIIN, to uphold and encourage its members to adhere strictly to the observance of the industry’s codes of conduct and ethics for a healthy practice of the insurance profession.
“NAICOM as a regulator is committed to high standard of professionalism and ethical behaviour in the insurance industry so as to regain the confidence of policyholders and increase insurance contribution to the GDP. If we must win the public apathy to the business of insurance we must desist from unwholesome practices in the discharge of our responsibilities to the insured by playing as true professionals,” Kari said.
According to Kari, current developments in the country obviously call for collaborative effort to reposition the profession and the insurance industry, adding that operators should not be unmindful of the perception of the insurance profession by the public. “The apathy towards insurance and the way and manner the profession is being addressed need a rethink from all of us. We all know the whys, let us discuss dispassionately and agree the hows of correcting the wrong perceptions,” Kari stated.
Kari said, “There is need for a reawakening to ensure only trained personnel are allowed to practice. You will agree with me that insurance services are being rendered by persons and bodies without adequate training. We must embrace professionalism as core value in our industry. To achieve that we must train all persons that carry our flags to our consumers. “Insurance practitioners and professionals should be seen to uphold the tenets of the profession both in their words and actions.