Home Finance FG charges NAICOM to look into ways of increasing its revenue through the use of technology, Portal

FG charges NAICOM to look into ways of increasing its revenue through the use of technology, Portal

by Business News Report

Minister of Finance Budget and Planning Mrs Zainab Ahmed has said that dwindling government revenue profile demands that the National Insurance Commission  must look into ways of increasing its revenue through the use of technology and the Portal in particular. The minister was speaking during the formal launch of the commission portal. She said “I urge the Commission to ensure the Portal is connected to other government databases like the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) NIN Database, Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) Passport Database, Nigeria Integrated Customs Information system, FRSC’s National Vehicle Identification System, the National Vehicle Registry, State Licensing Databases among others in order to provide value added services to all Insurance Industry stakeholders and enhance revenue generation. In addition, the NAICOM Portal must also serve as the central database and sole repository of all Insurance Data connected to government databases in the country”. 

Meanwhile, you will agree with me that the unsatisfactory response to settlement of claims by underwriters had greatly contributed to the prevailing poor public perception and lack of trust and confidence in the insurance Industry.  Indeed, prompt claims payment is the best advertisement for the industry, therefore all genuine claims that have been duly verified and due process followed, should be paid promptly. The Commission must put in place mechanisms to ensure Insurance companies meet their obligations to policyholders by paying claims promptly as that is the major reason they exist in the first place.  claims payment determines the valuable structure of the industry in the economy. 

The current Insurance Penetration, a measure of the contribution of Insurance to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 0.88 for 2021 is very low. This indicates a low Insurance sector development contribution to the National Economy. However, this also shows that there are abounding opportunities for growth in the market. There is a need therefore, to develop new innovative products based on data and customer preferences and introduction of new channels of distribution beyond the traditional channels to reach new segments of the market. There is also a need for cooperation with other agencies of government to enforce compulsory insurances in the country. Stakeholders in the industry must consciously and intentionally spread the reach of insurance from the major cities and few states to other regions of the country especially the rural areas. Low penetration in the retail end of the market must also be addressed through vigorous drive of inclusive Insurance like micro insurance and takaful.

In addition, deliberate attention must be given to the low insurance literacy and education in the country. Strategies must be put in place for insurance education, awareness and enlightenment. Massive sensitisation must be done on both traditional and new media on the benefits of Insurance. I want to advice that insurance education should be introduced in the education curriculum from Primary to Tertiary Schools.

Commissioner for Insurance Olorundare Sunday Thomas on his part said “As some of us may be aware, the Commission in July 2009, embarked on a comprehensive computerisation effort tagged project e-regulation that was meant to transform its operational procedures and the conduct of its regulatory responsibilities by providing a robust, world class ICT Infrastructure to help implement an automated business processes internally and for industry wide supervision via an integrated platform. Prior to this development, the processing of applications required that applicants physically drop off their applications at the Commission with the attendant challenges of delays in processing times, wasted manpower hours due to back-and-forth in application processing as well as ineffective application tracking system. 

“Honourable Minister, permit me to state that with the completion of the portal there will be process efficiency and faster processing time as applications and supporting documents are submitted online, applicant’s account is updated with the status of the application as it progresses and there is effective Real-time communication between NAICOM and the applicant. The Portal also provides a Platform for interconnectivity by all industry stakeholders to support real-time aggregation of data on policies at the time of underwriting and policy issuance. Each policy will be issued with a unique policy ID that will be associated with the policy for the life time of the policy. 

The Policy System – It captures ALL insurance policies issued in Nigeria online real time via Application Programming Interface (APIs). It generates a unique policy identification number for all issued policies necessary to ensure fidelity and validity of all policies in the country and manages information on all insurance policies and premiums. It enables insurance customers and third-party entities such as Law Enforcement Agencies to query and validate insurance policies. Licensing System– It automates the core business processes of Registration/Renewal of Licenses, New Products, AIP no objection & Attestation approvals at NAICOM. All of these application processes will proceed digitally from the application stage where all supporting documents are provided, to the review stage, the approval stage and license generation where applicable. 

Complaints Management System– This is a customised solution designed to help the Commission manage complaints and handle issues seamlessly as well as ensure that insurance companies are performing highly and clients are serviced adequately. The system is also designed to integrate directly with NAICOM existing database, utilising existing records of customers and insurance companies; it incorporates multiple channels for initiation of complaints including Social media applications (Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Twitter), Direct action on the complaint portal, Walk-in complainants, Regular media, Emails &SMS (Short Code) and Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD)

Regulatory Returns and Financial Analysis – It provides the platform for the submission of all Insurance Industry Regulatory returns and compliance electronically. The financial analysis module of it aims at automating financial analysis, credit control functions, computation of levies, and providing adequate and timely information to support management decision-making as well as serve as a central repository for current and historical financial information about the Insurers, Re-insurers, Brokers and Loss Adjusters.  Honourable Minister, distinguished guest, it is imperative to inform you as has been previously reported that this module of the project is funded directly by Africa-Re Foundation and I want to, at this point appreciate the African Reinsurance Corporation (African Re) for its funding of this critical software that would improve efficiency and effectiveness in supervisory and regulatory oversight of the Nigerian Insurance Industry. Indeed, this is a welcome development and further demonstration of commitment by development partners to the transformation of the Nigerian economy and the change agenda of the current administration under the leadership of His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR.

Honourable Minister, it is expected that the challenges of poor insurance penetration, public trust and confidence in insurance, and inadequate real time statistical data of the insurance industry will be resolved through the efficient deployment of the portal. Also the direct interface with the Industry provided by the portal will ensure greater accountability and transparency. The digital Platform will provide a single point of Contact between NAICOM and the Insurance Industry”.

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