President of the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers, NCRIB, Mr. Shola Tinubu in this interview discusses efforts of the Council to build capacity for members.
By Rosemary Onuoha
SOME of your members have been complaining that the National Insurance Commission, NAICOM, has been unduly strict with them. Do you agree with them?
If you ask me whether there are erring members, I will say, there are. However, there may not be so many and that is because you can’t manufacture erring members. Obviously there are infractions to be dealt with. However, we are going to ensure that the oil of justice applies going forward so that things will be swift, very transparent and people will understand that the necessary organs are there and working. Sometimes it is not as if law courts in Nigeria don’t work, but because they work very slowly, there is the tendency for people to believe that they won’t get justice at the end of a case.
Why is federal government yet to conclude payment of its workers group life insurance?
The issue has always been a problem. Everywhere in the world, they don’t talk about one policy of government. But in Nigeria, the issue is that it has been highly politicized. The federal government group life insurance is such a large policy compared to the entire market, so obviously it must get the kind of attention that it is getting. The challenge that it has over time has been premium payment before ‘no premium, no cover’. When ‘no premium, no cover’ came on board, there seemed to be a slight adjustment and we started seeing some progress. But there may have been some regression.
How are you working with NAICOM to resolve some issues affecting brokers?
Anytime you have a problem and you don’t assume that the other man is mad, then you will go a long way in resolving issues. Most of the time, a lot of people just believe that ‘my brother is a mad man,’ and the problem lingers. However, if you regard the person as a human being, and you look at the analysis, then you will be very clear on how to resolve the issue. NAICOM is under pressure because they have a role to play in the market. Their role is to expand the market.
Once we understand that as an ultimate role, and ensure that the role does not conflict with our own roles as practitioners to also grow our businesses, you can then ask yourself, what is the problem? Sometimes it is a problem of approach and strategy. However, we are championing self regulation. We will ensure that as a secretariat, we help our members comply with regulation such that when any other authority comes and check, all they will see is compliance to rules and regulation. When we do that, we just earn respect. And that is what we want to do.
How do you intend to carry members along?
It is not that our practitioners don’t want to be tidy; it is only a matter of knowledge and capacity. That is why we are going to ensure that we build capacity in certain areas and once we build capacity in those areas through learning programmes and exposure to how things are supposed to be done, then we will begin to see better outcomes.