By Ebere Nwoji
The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has charged insurance officers of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of federal government to ensure the procurement of adequate insurance cover for government assets under their watch.
The Commissioner for Insurance, Sunday Thomas, who gave the charge at the sensitisation workshop for insurance desk officers of MDAs said it was worrisome that most assets and liabilities of government were not adequately and appropriately insured.
This, according to him accentuated the need for measures to be put in place by the commission to ensure that government gets value for money in the purchase of insurance by MDAs.
“It is the desire of NAICOM to change this narrative for good. The essence of insurance of government assets and liabilities is to cushion the impact and reduce the burden that the government would have to bear in likely occurrences of catastrophic events such as natural disasters, fire, accidents, building collapse, injuries or death to third parties, etc, thereby saving the government money which can be channeled towards augmenting the needs of the citizenry, providing infrastructure, and creating employment, among others,” Thomas explained.
According to him, it was imperative to put in place measures to guide MDAs on procuring adequate insurances for assets under their watch.
He pointed out the provision of Section 7 (d) of the NAICOM Act 1997, which stipulates that the commission shall ensure adequate protection of strategic government assets and other properties, adding that Section 7 (f) of the Act, equally provides that the commission shall act as adviser to the federal government on all insurance related matters.
He noted that NAICOM had in 2009, launched the Market Development and Restructuring Initiative (MDRI) project which aimed at creation of awareness on compulsory insurance products, education of the public on the long-term benefits of insurance to policyholders and the economy at large, among others.
He said while NAICOM bore the responsibility of disseminating key messaging on the benefits of compulsory insurance, there was reliance on government ministries, departments and agencies to help domesticate the initiative in their respective offices and perhaps, serve as the primary vehicles for enforcement of compulsory insurances in their various MDAs.
“As follow-up to the success of previous nationwide awareness campaigns for compulsory insurance, NAICOM is moving the bar a notch higher. Therefore, this sensitisation workshop is aimed at equipping insurance desk officers with the necessary tools to ensure that all MDAs have adequate insurance coverage for all government assets and liabilities to curb wastage occasioned by losses of uninsured assets,” he added.
He said at the end of the workshop, it was expected that insurance desk officers would have the capacity to gauge the insurance protection needs of government assets under their purview and provide their principals with technical advice on the required insurance coverage for government assets and liabilities.
He said the commission has taken up the responsibility of building the capacity of insurance desk officers, enthroning transparency and accountability to ensure that government gets value for money in the purchase of insurance thus taking a step further in contributing effectively to the economic growth and development of Nigeria.