By Ngozi Onyeakusi–In an effort geared toward ensuring that insurance business in Nigeria align with the international best practice, the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), has once again called for amendment of some extant laws governing the business in the country.

The Acting Commissioner for Insurance, Mr Sunday Thomas, made the call at a retreat organised by NAICOM for members of the House of Representatives Committee on Insurance and Actuarial Matters, in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom Capital, Saturday.

According Thomas, who noted that Insurance extant laws needed to be amended to meet international best practices, said that a bill to amend the laws was being worked on and appealed to the House to give attention to the bill for quick passage.

“The Commission as a statutory regulatory agency derives its powers from the National Insurance Commission Act 1997 and the Insurance Act of 2003, to primarily oversight insurance practice in Nigeria.

“I believe this event provides me the opportunity to bring to your attention the fact that these laws in some of its provisions are fast becoming obsolete and thus requires urgent amendments.

“It is imperative to note here that a bill to amend the insurance laws has been in the works for some years now.

“We are however, optimistic that when the bill is eventually presented to the 9th Assembly, it will enjoy an accelerated attention,’’ Thomas said.

He said that the country’s insurance sector had two segments of underwriters comprising insurance and re-insurance companies, intermediaries which consisted of insurance brokers, loss adjusters and agents.

He said there were 55 insurance companies, two re-insurance, two micro-insurance operators, as well as over 500 insurance brokers and 2,000 agents operating in the country.

Mr Darlington Nwokocha, the Chairman, House Committee on Insurance and Actuarial Matters, said the nation’s insurance industry when compared to the international community had a lot to catch up with.

“In spite of the fact that we are lawmakers, we have the sole responsibility to defend the laws we make.

“Today, the insurance industry when you compare it on the same platform with the international community, you will find out that Nigeria still has a lot to meet up with. We are trying our best to see what we can do.

“There are certain ingredients in the law that finds little hitches for proper implementation.

“Certain infractions are being ignored and some of the stakeholders and operators find it now more or less like a rule or norm without considering the infractions.

“There are loopholes they may rely on trying to give it a different interpretation but as a responsible House, we are trying to make sure that the content of every act is defined appropriately.

“The committee will find it interesting for us to kick-start the process of the amendment of the insurance Act and to give it a quick and accelerated attention and passage.

“We are ready; one thing is sure, there is a common denominator which we must make sure we hold tenaciously and that is making sure that Nigerian economy revolves effectively within the plan of the insurance industry,’’ he explained