By Ebere Nwoji
The federal government recently fully paid the premium for its employees’ Group Life Insurance cover for 2020.
This was disclosed by the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB).
Though the Vice President of the Council, Mr. Tunde Oguntade, who made the disclosure while speaking to members of the National Association of Insurance and Pension Correspondents (NAIPCO) shortly after their 2020 Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Lagos, did not disclose the actual figure paid to the insurers, government had early in the year budgeted N15 billion for full payment of the premium.
Government had in the 2020 Appropriation Bill, proposed N15 billion for payment of Group Life insurance of its employees. The amount would be used to pay for Group life insurance for employees of all federal government ministries, departments and agencies including DSS/insurance of sensitive assets, Corpers plus administrative monitoring.
Section 4 (5), of the Pension Reform Act, 2014 states that, “every employer shall maintain a group life insurance policy in favour of each employee for a minimum of three times the annual total emolument of the employee and premium shall be paid not later than the date of commencement of the cover.”
Expressing the feelings of insurance operators, Oguntade, who represented the NCRIB President, Mrs. Bola Onigbogi, at the meeting, described the payment as a positive development.
He, however, called on federal government to engage the services of the registered insurance brokers in the purchase of insurance services in order to mitigate the risk of contact failures.
He expressed displeasure about the government’s failure to engage insurance brokers in its insurance arrangement.
According to him: “On government contracts, what we are trying to do at NCRIB is to talk to ministers through our liaison committee and leadership that the contract failure thing you have all over the federation if you have insurance and you have brokers arranging them for you, of course all those contracts failure will not be there because contracts failures are sometimes premeditated and they do not want to listen to us.
“We have been talking to them about all these roads, bridges and rails under construction on the importance of the government to engage the brokers.
“If they don’t want the contracts to fail they know what to do. Imagine someone who go to roadside agent to ask for insurance policy. It’s the NCRIB that puncture that thing and say this is wrong. We will continue to do our best to engage government as long as government is willing to do the right thing, NCRIB will be there to support them.”
Speaking on ways to deepen insurance penetration, he said: “You have online models which is referred to as technology, you have physical, and you have referrals. If somebody tries to get you online, you are bouncing, tries referrals, you are bouncing, he will try the last option which is physical correct. There’s nothing that is wrong.”
On application of technology in their operation, Oguntade, said what NCRIB has done was to ensure that all its members are ICT savvy.
Also speaking, NCRIB’s Executive Secretary, Mr. Fatal Adegbenro, said the council was in very close contact with government agencies, stating that every year the council writes to inform them on the need to engage the services of the registered insurance brokers.