EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Lamorde
By Nnamdi Duru
The insurance regulatory body, National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) said it would ensure that all operators under its supervision observe full compliance with relevant the anti-money laundry laws as part of its contribution towards to fight against terrorism in the country.
Deputy Commissioner in charge of Finance and Administration, Mr. George Onekhena, made this known while addressing a group of Directors and top echelon of insurance, reinsurance and insurance broking firms in the country recently.
“In compliance with the anti-money laundering act, we are making efforts to ensure that the operators understand what the requirements are and what steps they need to take,” he said.
Also, NAICOM’s acting Director in charge of Inspectorate, Mr. Farinu Olusegun, confirmed that in the last three decades, the international community has recognised the effects and problems associated with money laundering and terrorist financing and as such taken steps, both nationally and globally, to combat them.
“Many multilateral instruments and best practices have been promulgated and adopted, but the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) 40+9 recommendations remained by far, the most comprehensive and acceptable standards against these phenomena.
“The FATF recommendation 15 requires the mandatory implementation of some measures, which include, customer due diligence, record retention, detection of unusual and suspicious transactions and the reporting obligation,” he said.
The director said there was need for appropriate compliance management arrangements such as the designation of Anti Money Laundry/Combating Financing Terrorism AML/CFT compliance officers at the management level.
The AML/CFT compliance officer and other appropriate staff should have timely access to customer identification data and other CDD information, transaction records and other relevant information, he suggested.
Olusegun said financial institutions including insurance organisations should be mandated to maintain an adequately resourced and independent audit function to test compliance with these procedures, policies and control measures.
“Financial institutions should be required to establish ongoing employee training to ensure that employees are kept informed of new developments, such as AML/CFT techniques, methods and trends; and that there is a clear explanation of all aspects of AML/CFT laws and obligations, and in particular, requirements concerning CDD and suspicious transactions reporting,” he said.
Meanwhile, the umbrella body for insurance professionals in the country, Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN) has called on all insurance operators to forge a common front to provide insurance protection for some emerging risks in the country.
The institute also identified some of the emerging risks in the country to include terrorism, flood, spate of bombings and kidnap among others.
President of the institute, Mr. Wole Adetimehin, made this call said the professionals a few years back did not foresee the magnitude of some of the emerging risks that are threatening the economy.
“The worsening incidents of terrorism as well as the telling effects of climate change on lives and property are throwing up new challenges for the insurance industry. Two years ago, the institute dedicated its education conference to climate change and other environmental challenges and succeeded in creating the necessary awareness on the widening scope of risks exposure and the underwriting challenges these entail.
“During the conference, we did not foresee the magnitude of the July 2011 floods in Lagos and Ibadan, neither did we imagine the spate of bombings which now characterise our daily psyche as Nigerians,” he observed.