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NIA recommends path to insurance growth in W/Africa

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By Favour Nnabugwu

THE Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA) has harped on the need for complete autonomy and capacity building for insurance regulators in the Africa.

NIA Chairman, Mr. Eddie Efekoha, at the just concluded 2017 annual insurance conference of the West Africa Insurance Companies Association (WAICA) in Banjul Gambia, said complete autonomy is the key to fostering relationships across the sub-region’s financial sector amongst other benefits.

He stated: “There is the need for financial independence of the regulatory system in each of the countries within the sub-region; countries regulatory institutions should build the needed human capacity for effective market surveillance, trade associations must be strengthen to play a collaborative role in the harmonisation process and an in-depth understanding of the unique business process of each member states.”

Efekoha noted that insurance regulation in West Africa sub-region is largely compliance based in which ‘one cap fits all’ approach predominates, adding that the level of collaboration between the operators and the regulators is less than satisfactory thus breeding suspicion.

He pointed out that the human capacity available in most of the regulatory institutions is less than required for effective supervisory oversight and that the current trans-border operations by underwriting companies require that a full license be procured, adding that there are no formal relationship between the trade associations in the sub-region.

Though, he appreciated the evolving relationship between regulators in the sub-region with the establishment of West Africa Insurance Supervisory Authority (WAISA), he called for reduction of the premium flight from the sub-region and the need to have insurance framework to support intra-regional business transactions.

 

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