The Nigeria Insurers Association (NIA) , has said that about five million vehicles in Nigeria now have genuine insurance certificates as captured on the Nigeria Insurance Industry Database (NIID) .
This is an improvement on the reports in 2016 that about four million out of the existing 16 million vehicles plying Nigerian roads have genuine insurance certificates while 12 million vehicles in the country parade fake motor insurance certificates. The NIA has the mandate to ensure that all motor and marine insurance certificates in the hands of Nigerians are purchased from genuine insurance firms.
The NIA Chairman, Eddie Efekoha, who disclosed this at a recent press briefing in Lagos, also expressed satisfaction at a relief from what he described as heavy tax burden given to insurance firms by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).
The NIA Chairman noted that the NIID has really impacted positively on the operations of insurance companies.
Efekoha, stated that though the number of vehicles captured falls below expectations going by the number of vehicles in the country, the industry will sustain the drive to capture all vehicles plying Nigerian roads.
He said the association is forging ahead in the implementation of the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) code, adding that discussions between the Association and Nigerian Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS), for deployment of the USSD have progressed significantly and an inter-agency publicity committee has been put together between NIA and NIBSS with a view to publicising the project to engender public support and acceptability.
According to him, when fully operational, the USSD code is expected to close the gap encountered in the operation of the NIID as the code will not require internet connectivity for verification of motor insurance certificates across the country.
On tax issue in the industry, the NIA chairman noted that one of the most interesting developments in the industry was the recent halt on the activities of tax agents whom he said have been invading insurance firms, in furtherance of the enforcement of section 16 of company Income Tax CITA 2007 as amended.
“We are delighted to report that through our strategic engagement initiatives and with the understanding reached, members are now relieved from the heavy tax burden imposed on our member-insurance companies by the law.
“We appreciate the management of FIRS particularly its chairman, Mr. Tunde Fowler, for giving us the opportunity to make our presentation and canvass our position on the law. “We assure them of our continued support in the process of amending the law to bring it in line with global best practice”, Efekoha stated.