The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) on Tuesday disclosed that substantial part of public assets in the country remained under-insured in terms of their real value.
The Commissioner for Insurance, Mr. Sunday Thomas, gave this hint at a Sensitisation Workshop organized for insurance desk officers of Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) on the insurance of Federal Government assets and liabilities in Abuja.
Thomas, who expressed serious concern about the under-coverage of such assets, appealed to civil servants to domesticate and help in the enforcement of compulsory insurance in the country.
He lamented: “It is very worrisome to the Commission that most assets and liabilities of government are never adequately and appropriately insured, which further accentuated the need for urgent measures to be put in place by the Commission to ensure that government gets value for money in the purchase of insurance by MDAs and that it is the desire of NAICOM to change this narrative for good.
“The essence of insuring 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 channelled towards augmenting the needs of the citizenry, providing infrastructure, and creating employment, among others”, the industry regulator stressed.
The commissioner stressed the need to put in place measures to guide top government functionaries in the MDAs on procuring adequate insurance cover for assets under their watch, stressing that the provision of Section 7 (d) of the National Insurance Commission, NAICOM Act 1997 stipulates that the Commission shall ensure adequate protection of strategic government assets and other properties.
Noting further that Section 7 (f) of the Act also provides that the Commission shall act as Adviser to the Federal Government on all insurance related matters, Thomas explained that NAICOM would do better in achieving its mandate with the full cooperation of the MDAs.
He clarified: “As you may be aware, NAICOM 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.
“While NAICOM bore the responsibility of disseminating key messaging on the benefits of compulsory insurance, we relied on government MDAs 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”, the regulator added