Commissioner for Insurance, Alhaji Mohammed Kari

Ebere Nwoji

 Insurance Brokerage business, which hitherto was the last resort for chief executives of insurance underwriting firms, who lost their jobs or retired from service, will no more be an all comers business, as the industry regulator, National Insurance commission (NAICOM) has commenced moves to sanitise the sector.

 NAICOM, recently said in addition to its delisting of 108 insurance brokers trading with lapsed licenses late last year, it is ready to delist and publish additional lists of firms in coming weeks for the purpose of sanitising the industry as well as protecting the insuring public from falling victims of their illegal activities.

 The Commissioner for Insurance, Alhaji Mohammed Kari, who disclosed this during a courtesy visit to THISDAY Newspapers, recently said this has become necessary to rid the industry off intermediaries who don’t want to play according to rules and want to make insurance intermediary business fraudsters’ business.

 Kari, said the commission was determined to ensure that only genuine operators, who play by the rules remained.

 He said a new angle, which the commission wants to introduce in its fight against operators without genuine license is to arrest and prosecute individuals behind such companies but expressed the regret that some of them operate without names.

 The commissioner insisted that such operators must this time be brought to book despite their   complaints.

 “Though they will complain, the interest of the consumer is more important than their complaints, we must remove the rotten eggs among them no matter the level of complaints because they are the ones that bring problem in the system.

 “We will continue to look into our records to identify more that should go out of practice, we have taken it a level further, we will prosecute individuals behind such fraud. Thank God  law enforcement has improved in  the  country, the time  is ripe to instill discipline into the system”, he insisted.

The commissioner also said he had reached agreement with insurance underwriters to publish names of companies that shirk payment of genuine claims under its ‘name and shame’ agreement with the underwriters.

   He also said NAICOM has reached agreement with the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria ( CIIN), which  is the professional arm of the industry that registers every practitioner to suspend the license of any professional, found wanting in his operations and to seize it for life,if the offence is too grievous.

THISDAY findings revealed that since the delisting of the 108 insurance brokers in December last year, those concerned have been mounting pressure on the leadership of the brokers’ council. But president of Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers, Mr. Kayode Okunoren has told the brokers that though he has been pleading with the regulator to temper justice with mercy, the council will not be ready to defend any operator, who goes against the law.