CIB 2020: Despite CIIN Grand Patron Honour, President Buhari fail Stakeholders

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The Insurance Act 2003’s review exercise has recorded its 4th failure process from 2008, 2016, 2018 and now 2020 bills. Despite earlier promised to the stakeholders over Consolidated Insurance Bill (CIB) 2020 assent as soon as it reached his desk by outgoing President, Muhammadu Buhari.


From all indication within insurance stakeholders about how the new law was designed to boost their operational activities in the industry to lofty heights was dashed as Consolidated Insurance Bill 2020 was left out of the eight other bills signed into law by President Buhari, recently.


Among the bills assented by the President are the National Social Investment Programme Agency, the National Senior Secondary Education Commission and six others which was passed by the National Assembly.


According to a statement endorsed by Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters – Senate, Senator Babajide Omoworare, stated that the assent was in furtherance of the provisions of the Acts Authentication Act Cap. A2, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.


Part of the statement said: ‘President Buhari Assents to the National Investment Programme Agency, National Senior Secondary Education Bills and Six Others.’ revealed that by signing establishment bill into law, legalises the National Social Investment Programme initiated by the outgoing regime, which was established to assist and empower the poor and vulnerable in Nigeria, and changes its name to National Social Investment Programme Agency.


According to the sponsor of the Consolidated Insurance Bill 2020, that seeks to address many of the industry headwinds by rectifying shortcomings of the Insurance Act 2003.


One of the key area is the recapitalization which the bill was designed to settled the definition of capital in the insurance domain, building on the framework in the Finance Act 2021, ending the incongruity between operators and regulators in the sector, which previously led to the cancellation of several proposed recapitalisation attempts by the regulator.

The Ameh News (TAN) recall that President Muhammadu Buhari promised insurance industry practitioners on October 14, 2021 that he will hasten the signing of the Consolidated Insurance Bill 2020 once it lands on his desk.


The President made the pledge during his conferment ceremony as the Grand Patron of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN) by the Chairman and members of the Governing Council of the Institute, held at the State House, Abuja.


“Once the National Assembly has finished the process of reviewing the Consolidated Insurance Bill 2020 and is forwarded to me, I would speedily subject it to the necessary executive checks and sign it into law,” the President said.


The President, “who commended the leadership of the Institute under Sir. Muftau Oyegunle for bringing some sanity into the Nigerian Insurance Industry as well as giving more visibility to the importance of the industry in national development, counselled them to do more.”



After the insurance sector operators who waited anxiously for President Muhammadu Buhari to assent to the long-awaited Consolidated Insurance Bill 2020 before he leaves office on May 29.


It was at the end that the exclusion of the Consolidated Insurance Bill 2020 from the list of 15 bills assent by the president, less than one week to the end of his administration become cleared that the Insurance Bill might not be passed into law in this dispensation.


This development is unfortunate that despite all efforts put into the bill by the various arms and industry stakeholders, just went down the drain.


Although this may not be new judging from the fact that the same scenario happened to the Revised Insurance Bill in 2014 under the administration of the ex-President Goodluck Jonathan.


However, the implication of non-passage into law of the Consolidated Insurance Bill 2020 is grave to the sector which means they have to embark on another fresh process with the new set of lawmakers making up the 10th National Assembly members.


And as it stands, all insurance operators with high hopes that the bill would definitely be signed into law against all odds have been dashed.


The industry operators and stakeholders who were hopeful that the outgoing administration will sign the long-expected bill into law before leaving office, has come to realise that it is now mission impossible except for the new administration coming.


This failure remained a source of concern for experts who strongly believed that the bill, if signed into law, will better the lot of the insurance industry and position it for sustainable growth.


Nevertheless, the industry in recent time pass shown resilience in business expansion and growth, looking at the end of fourth quarter 2022 presented by the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) showed industry growth of 36.3 percent representing a gross premium of N726.2 billion over the same quarter of the preceding year, while it paid claims worth N318.2 billion in the same period, representing a 31.2 per cent growth, there are more that could be done with the bill becoming an Act.


The above record reported disclosed significant improvement on various key indices, including gross premium, claims payment, total assets, improved market regulation, awareness and consumer confidence in the 4th quarter of 2022.

Though the sector was able to recorded these milestones in absent of the proposed bill, there are a lot of challenges which experts said could be addressed if the Insurance Act 2003 is amended.


To some industry observers, the 20-year-old Insurance Act 2003 deserves amendment, it is true that there is no perfect law in the world but the Act needs to be amended to align with current realities, not only in the country but also in the international market.


It was recall that the review process of the Insurance Act 2003 was dated back to 2008 following a period of economic recession which significantly presented among others, the need for amendment, within that period the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Finance set up a Professor Joe Irukwu-led committee to review all insurance laws and as well as pursue amendment of stale laws that culminated in the 2008 Insurance Bill. Unfortunately, this bill did not see the light of the day.


Similarly, in 2016, Kemi Adeosun, then Minister for Finance inaugurated an insurance review committee chaired by Dr. Omogbai Omo-Ebo, which was saddled with the responsibility of reviewing all existing insurance laws, market problems and making recommendations that will form the basis for the amendment draft for Insurance Bill 2018. This bill was not signed into law.


Unarguably, the Consolidated Insurance Bill 2020, which has remained source of hope for the industry, is still treading the same path of earlier ones. History has repeated itself again. Thus, for the past 20 years, the regulatory law of the risk-bearing industry has not been successfully reviewed nor amended.


No doubt, so much time, energy and resources were put into the review exercise done for the aborted 2008, 2016, 2018 and now 2020 bills.


For stakeholders, this does not augur well for the industry, judging from the fact that the sister industry- pension sector- successfully reviewed its 2004 Pension Reforms Act in 2014 and it’s preparing for another review that may be done this year or in 2024.


While other experts alluded to the bureaucracy in government.


The Ameh News TAN recall that the last recapitalisation exercise in the industry was in 2007 while subsequent attempts to carry out another round of recapitalisation has proved abortive.


The bill was packaged also to introduce harsher penalties for fake insurance certificate perpetrators, improve public trust and reintroducing the risk-based supervision capital model to align the industry with international best practices.


The immediate past Chairman of the Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA), Mr Ganiyu Musa, had disclosed last year that insurers were closely monitoring developments on the Consolidated Insurance Bill 2020 and will continue to pursue same doggedly until it is finally passed into law.


NIA, he said, participated in all the processes thus far and will continue to monitor developments in respect of the bill as it receives legislative attention, adding that the bill, if passed into law, is expected to have positive impact on the insurance space in Nigeria and align it with global best practices.


“We must acknowledge the co-operation received from the Speaker, Federal House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila; Chairman and members of the House Committee on Insurance and Actuarial Matters, National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) and other stakeholders in the journey thus far.


“We remain cautiously optimistic that the Bill will be signed into law before the tenure of the 9th National Assembly lapses.”


Experts in the industry are excited that provisions of the Bill in consideration when finally passed into law will have positive impact on the country’s insurance space, strengthen the weaknesses of the Insurance Act 2003 and align with global best practices.


According to the President, Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN), Edwin Igbiti, the Insurance Bill translation to an Act, would be the best legacy President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration would bequeath the insurance industry.


He implored all insurance practitioners to come together and push for the signing of the bill in law.


The exclusion of the Consolidated Insurance Bill from the other bills passed for presidential assent means that the industry will wait a while before the next administration could sign it into law, that is, if it gets to the table of the incoming President.


This delay may give room for weak capitalisation of the industry, unabated weaknesses of the moribund Insurance Act 2003.  At the international level, the risk bearing industry may not be able to play a leading role. Thus, the urgent need to strengthen the laws of the industry which the Consolidated Insurance Bill 2020 would have done if signed into law at such a time as this.


Decrying the exclusion of the bill amongst the 15 bills passed to President Muhammadu Buhari for an assent before leaving office, Chairman of Session, Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN) Year 2023 Fellows’ Event, Mr. Dan Okehi, called on Fellows in the insurance industry to arise to their responsibilities as it is their obligation to collaborate with NAICOM in ensuring that the bill becomes an Act.


Okehi stated that Fellows should note that the burden of growth and development of the sector rests on their shoulders as the industry’s policy makers.


On his part, a past President of the CIIN, Olusola Ladipo-Ajayi, said: “There is supposed to be a synergy between the regulatory body and operators in the industry. The industry doesn’t have much visibility in the public space. This means we are not in government’s contemplation. The way we operate the industry has not given us visibility. It should be our priority.”


Corroborating, the Hon. Lanre Laoshe, an insurance professional and former member of the House of Representatives, explained that, with the exclusion of the bill among the 15 passed to the President for assent, it means that the process start again from the beginning when NASS resumes on June 4th, 2023.


“If they really want to change their law, let them work or why didn’t the bill go far? Some may not want the bill to get there”, he said.


Also, the Managing Director, Peninscope Professional Warranty Limited, Mr. Taiye Adediji pointed out that such omission will hinder development in the industry, cut the time frame that would enable the players acclimatise with the new law if signed into law now in terms of developing consciousness about it while delaying it has put the players on suspense.


Similarly, the Managing Director, Risk Sift Consultant Limited, Mrs, Janet Omoniyi, said the industry cannot act on it until the president signs the bill into law.


She said: “It means we will continue to use the obsolete law. The industry will have to wait till a new set of NASS comes onboard, brings it up and works on it, then sends it to the President. Something must have gone wrong along the line. Maybe, it still needs to be fine-tuned.”


Also, the Vice President, Association of Registered Insurance Agents of Nigeria (ARIAN), Mr Jegede Kehinde, regretted that not signing the bill will hinder insurance penetration which is yet to reach the 0.5 percent mark in Nigeria. According to him, a bill that is acceptable to all players will promote sense of belonging among insurers and bring about healthy competition.


“It means NAICOM needs to be empowered.  There are a lot of innovations it wants to bring about in the industry.”


In the same vein, Inspen Online report noted that the President, Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), Mr. Moses Igbrude, stated that, “when we visited NAICOM last week, the Commissioner for lnsurance, Mr. Sunday Thomas, promised that the Commission has done some work to enhance the insurance industry. If the industry bill does not get the assent of the present administration, the question is – ls it that the bill is not ready? If yes, why is it not ready? It means there will be delay. The bill will start all over again. Its supposed effect would be postponed. It means it will further delay the enhancement of the industry.”


Speaking on the way forward, Ladipo-Ajayi said all contending issues should be looked into. On behalf of the industry, he stressed that, there must be someone monitoring the movement of the bill. At every stage, somebody must be on ground, he noted.


Similarly, Laoshe noted that the industry should go back to the drawing board and find out why the bill didn’t go far.


In the same vein, Adediji stated that, “there is need to find out the reason why the bill has not got to the table of the president for his assent. Is it human error or the content of the law? Was it a mistake – intentional or sabotage?  Is there another opportunity for the bill to get to President Buhari before he leaves office? These are some of the things the industry regulator and operators should find out. Even though the president has few days left, as long as he is still in the office, there is still hope, if all necessary things are timely done.”


Omoniyi as well suggested there is need for the industry to agree together on how to move the industry forward.


In conclusion, stakeholders believe it would be unfortunate if by May 29, President Buhari did not give assent to the bill. The industry, they said, might have to start the process all over again.


While market observers expect insurance operators to look inward on the need to have representatives at the National Assembly, they urged them to think seriously about the importance of being proactive.


It would be recalled that it was when Hon. Lanre Laoshe was a member of the House of Representatives that the lnsurance Act 2003 was signed into law. They said there is need for strategic lobbying and resistance against bureaucracy in government.



According to the report, saying President of Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN), Edwin Igbiti, who collaborated Okehi, noted that the Insurance Bill translation to an Act, would be the best legacy President Muhammadu Buhari administration would bequeath the insurance industry.


Igbiti implored all insurance practitioners to come together and push for the signing of the bill in law.


Since all push failed to yield to Buhari’s assent to the bill to enable the industry begin to tap into the opportunities provided by the new law, CIIN President advised stakeholders to come together and push the signing of the lnsurance Bill when the incoming National Assembly kicks off, so that it will be among the first set of bills to be signed into law by the incoming administration.

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