House Mandates NIMC to Harmonise Biometric Data

  •  Probes alleged fraud in third party vehicle insurance

James Emejo in Abuja

The House of Representatives thursday passed a motion mandating the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to coordinate the harmonisation of biometric data of Nigerians and urged the federal government to collate the number of births and death in local government areas of the country.

It further directed its Committees on Population and Governmental Affairs to ensure implementation and report back in six weeks for further legislative action.

Also, the House mandated its Committee on Insurance and Actuarial Matters to investigate the operations of the Third Party Motor Vehicle Insurance Scheme in order to determine whether the insured are deriving benefits from the scheme as well as constraints in its operations, and report back in 12 weeks for further legislative action.
It also mandated the Nigeria Insurance Association (NIA) to initiate enlightenment campaigns on the rights of the insured under the third party scheme.

The call for harmonisation of biometric data of Nigerian citizens was sponsored by Hon. Ochiglegor Idagbo, who argued the harmonisation of biometric databases of the agencies of government and private entities will help in saving about N40 billion in operational costs while citizens will not be required to have their biometrics taken over and over again by different agencies working for the same government.

According to him, several countries including United States, Canada, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, among others have achieved great outcomes in economic development and crime detection, prevention and fighting as a result of the harmonisation of the biometric data of their citizens.

However, Hon. Francis Charles Uduyok and Hon. Joseph Edionwele jointly sponsored the motion on the need to enlighten motorists on taking advantage of the third party motor vehicle insurance scheme.
They maintained that most owners of accidented vehicles which were covered by insurance and ought, ordinarily to have been compensated did not receive any compensation and rather ended up bearing the costs of the repairs of their vehicles owing to the fact that majority of vehicle owners still do not know the real reason for the N5,000 insurance policy they paid.

They said as a result of the ignorance on the part of the insured, the insurance companies are raking in fortunes without paying compensation to their clients.

Hon. Abubakar Kannike (APC, Kwara) said the motion is a wake-up call to investigate the monumental fraud in the insurance subsector and help Nigerians get value for third party insurance.

Section 68 (1) of the Insurance Act of 2003 provides that “No person shall use or cause any other person to use a motor vehicle on a road unless a liability which he may thereby incur in respect of damage to the property of a third party is insured with an Insurer registered under this Act.”

Lawmakers observed however, that third party insurance policy of N5000 is usually purchased under the Act by the Insured for protection against another party’s claims that is known as the third party.

They expressed worry that motorists are systematically being denied information on the essence of the N5000 insurance premium paid at the point of registering a vehicle or renewal of the particulars.