The signing of a new bill for the insurance industry was an expectation as the days of President Mohammadu Buhari drew to a close. The stakeholders: the National Insurance Commission NAICOM, The Nigerian Insurers Association NIA, The Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers NCRIB, The Institute of Loss Adjusters of Nigeria ILAN, were hopeful more so, the recognition the industry received from Buhari, gave the market a reassurance that the resurgence of a new insurance bill being signed was almost clear in their expectation.
The bill tagged from onset as Insurance Bill 2020 was a private members bill sponsored by the House of Representatives Committee on Insurance and Actuarial Matters, chaired by Hon Darlington Nwokocha in the Nineth Assembly. The introduction of what is designated, Insurance Bill 2020, which incorporates some new clauses, as well as revisions to existing clauses, was in the form of stealth appearance. Insurance professionals only got to know after the second reading at the National Assembly. Following after, the various arms of the industry assembled to digest the bill and try to influence it to suit its operations without sacrificing the interests of others.
The process of crafting the bill began in earnest as all the arms of the market and regulators made submissions to the technical committee of the house committee on insurance before the Senate receives the bill for harmonisation, all the other bodies in the insurance market: ILAN, NIA made submissions including the regulator, NAICOM, and along side were other stakeholders including but not limited to the Central Bank Of Nigeria that are involved in the insurance law making process took positions.
The bill known as Insurance Bill 2020, a private member’ bill sponsored by the House committee chairman incorporates some new clauses, as well as revisions to existing clauses.
The National Assembly while introducing the bill from the onset said the bill seeks to make comprehensive legal framework for the regulation and supervision of all manner of insurance businesses in Nigeria. It also seeks to repeal:
a) Insurance Act Cap 117, Laws of Federation of Nigeria, 2004
b) Marine Insurance Act, Cap IV13, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004
c) Motor Vehicles (Third Party Insurance Act) Cap M22, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004
d) National Insurance Corporation of Nigeria Act, Cap N54, Laws of Federation of Nigeria, 2004; and
e) Nigeria Reinsurance Corporation Act, Cap N131, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
The House of Representatives stepped ahead of Executive in submitting what it had concluded was Consolidated Insurance Bill.
Working on the bill since mid December 2020 had been a herculean for all stakeholders and the expectation was that on or before the Nineth Assembly drops the legislative curtain the task would have been done. The former Chairman, NIA, Ganiyu Musa just before he handed over and two years after work began on the bill was still hopeful. “Our expectation is that the process is completed before the the legislative term ends. Though it appears the attention of the national Assembly has shifted to election but we are still working actively to see that we have brand new insurance act.”
However, the Insurance Bill 2020 was decoupled from the bills accent by Buhari. It was also not included in those President Bola Tinubu signed. The breathe of a new bill still rests on the bill and it is imperative that the industry and all stakeholders give the bill and push complete whatever was responsible for the decoupling and get the bill back on track signed and, set the industry on the pedestal it has longed to be since work began in mid December 2020.