By James Emejo
Operators in the insurance industry have agreed to raise a total of N500 million to assist the federal government’s effort towards addressing the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
THISDAY learnt that the initiative came after several engagements between the operators and the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) which is the industry’s apex regulatory body.
The acting Commissioner for Insurance, Mr. Sunday Thomas, had in a letter dated April 3,2020, requested the industry operators to contribute a total of N500 million as part of support for ongoing initiatives to cushion the adverse impact of the virus in the country.
It was gathered that each operator was expected to donate the sum of N10 million to the course.
Thomas had noted that sequel to the outbreak of COVID-19 and the current efforts by the federal and state governments to contain the spread of the pandemic in the country, “it has become necessary for the Nigerian insurance industry to support the efforts of the federal government”.
While commending the preliminary response of the industry on the proposed life cover for health personnel involved in the fight against the pandemic, the NAICOM boss further sought for a more impactful and coordinated response from the industry for maximum effect.
He said:”To this end, and following from my engagement with the leaders in our industry, it has been resolved that the sum of N500 million be mobilised towards the initiative.
“The mobilisation of the fund, which will be the industry contribution to tame the pandemic, is being coordinated by the commission. It has, therefore, become imperative that you support this initiative by the commission by donating generously to the fund.
“I am by this letter requesting your kind support and generous donation to the fund. The donation from your company which is expected at a minimum of N10 million should please be paid into the Nigerian Insurers Association’s First Bank account number 2000917791”.
Health worker’s rights under the COVID-19 pandemic according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) include that employers and managers in health facilities assume overall responsibility to ensure that all necessary preventive and protective measures are taken to minimize occupational safety and health risks in addition to providing information, instruction and training on occupational safety and health.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed had at a recent media briefing disclosed that the federal government is currently engaging with insurance operators for a special health care insurance package for health workers as the country battles to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in the country.
Commending the brevity of frontline health workers amid COVID-19, she said adequate insurance, compensation, and support in the form of a life insurance was being worked out for healthcare personnel during and after the COVID 19 pandemic.
The minister said the government is “taking steps to activate, release and where necessary, enhance the hazard allowances provided in the remuneration structure of the federal health sector workers”.