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NAICOM Eyes Full Autonomy, Willing to Give up Govt Funding

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IMAGE: Naicom Commissioner for Insurance Mr. Fola Daniel »



The insurance regulator, National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), has explained why it is no longer interested in getting annual subventions from the federal government, saying it is eyeing full autonomy like other regulators in Nigeria’s finance industry.

The Commissioner for Insurance, Mr. Fola Daniel, who stated this, noted that it would not be possible to continue asking for government subventions and full autonomy at the same time and expect government to grant both requests.

“We want money and government support but we want autonomy like the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC).  So we cannot ask government for money and at the same time ask for autonomy,” Daniel stressed.

“We are maturing so much that we returned substantial money to the government, surpassing what we are getting in the last few years,” he added.
The commissioner had hitherto said the insurance regulator was satisfied with government’s decision to stop funding the commission.

“We are happy to be self-sustained. In NAICOM, we feel we should also be contributing to the national treasury; we can fund ourselves. In 2012, we remitted over N1 billion into the government treasury.

“The government’s decision is a good thing for us because the government has many responsibilities pressing for attention. We believe that the resources being allocated to us can be channelled elsewhere,” Daniel said.

Up till this year, the insurance regulator is being funded through budgetary allocations from the federal government. However, government said it would stop making budgetary allocations in favour of the commission starting from next year.

The Minister of State for Finance, Yerima Ngama, confirmed this during the inauguration of NAICOM’s board recently, saying the commission has come of age.

“From time to time, government supports the commission as its internally-generated revenue grows. But today, the industry has grown and is healthy; we believe that as from next year, NAICOM, just like the CBN and NDIC, should be able to generate enough internal revenue to embark on their activities without any budgetary support from the federation account,” he said.

“We have to reposition the insurance sector in order to provide the services needed by one of the 20 largest economies in the world. Right now, insurance penetration is very low and we need to make insurance products very attractive because this is a source of capital which we have not tapped,” Ngama added.

From next year, the 1 per cent levy imposed on the gross earnings of insurance company as mandated by the Insurance Special Supervisory Fund (ISSF) Decree 20 of 1989, which sought to strengthen the manpower needs of the Insurance Supervisory Board will constitute the major source of fund for NAICOM.

In addition to this, NAICOM will be raking in income from the one per cent statutory levy imposed on insurance operators. This is imposed on the gross premium income of insurance and reinsurance companies, gross commission raked in by insurance brokers and gross fees earned by loss adjusters.

Other sources include income from investments and money borrowed from such sources as may be approved by the board, fees and penalties payable by insurance institutions and other persons as well as all sums of money accruing to the commission by way of gifts, testamentary dispositions and endowments and contributions from any other source whatsoever.

The commission is also allowed to accept gifts of land, money or other property or things from persons or organisations within and outside Nigeria.

Article Credit: Thisday Newspaper

Updated 5 Years ago

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Tags:     NAICOM Eyes Full Autonomy     Willing to Give up Govt Funding