Govt seeks investors in insurance sector

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After about decade ban on issuance of fresh operating licences to investors, the Federal Government  is set to issue new licences to interested investors that can operate only as a Tier 1 company.

The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM Assistant Director, Coporate Affairs Department, Rasaaq Salami,  said the industry is ready to admit new investors in a circular released to reporters in Lagos.

This is coming on the heels of the introduction of Tier Based Minimum Solvency Capital Policy that will lead to recapitalisation and recategorisation of insurance companies in the country into Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3 companies.

The circular reads: “NAICOM being the regulatory authority of the  insurance  sector  in  Nigeria  hereby  pronounces  that  in  line  with  the  recently introduced  Tier-Based  Minimum  Solvency  Capital  Policy,  new  licences  are  now available for Tier 1 Level in both the Life and Non-Life business categories. Consequently, interested investors are by this pronouncement advised to access the Commission’s website for full details of the application procedures.”

Commissioner for Insurance, Mohammed Kari said the industry witnessed the last recapitalisation in 2005 to 2007 and since then, the operating environment has witnessed series of turbulence and uncertainties.

He also said the previous capital framework was rule-based, and risk factors of business lines within each insurance segment which vary significantly, were not considered.

He explained that immediately after the 2005/7 exercise, the 2008 global financial crisis set in, with far reaching effect on the wealth of insurers.

He said: “This was followed with significant upward increase in risks arising from macro-economic environment such as inflation rate, interest rate and devaluation of the national currency, and other factors.

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