Govt may issue circular mandating compulsory insurance of properties

The Federal Government may issue Circular compelling all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to insure all government properties scattered all over the country.

This is as a result of the courtesy visit of the Governing Board of the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha in Abuja.

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The SGF, represented by the Permanent Secretary, General Services Office (GSO), Dr. Maurice Mbaeri, requested the Commission to come up with a draft document of what the Commission want the Circular to contain to guide the Office of the SGF to be properly articulated in the Circular.

From L-R: Commissioner for Insurance, Sunday Thomas; Permanent Secretary, General Services, Maurice Mbaeri and Chairman of National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), Dr. Abubakar Sani, when the governing board of NAICOM paid a courtesy visit to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, in Abuja.

According to him, “send a draft copy of the circular to the SGF, after the review a circular will be released to the MDAs.”

The SGF told the NAICOM Board “the draft circular should reflect what you want. If it meets the SGF’s expectations, it will be issued to the appropriate MDAs.”

At the end of the courtesy visit, the Permanent Secretary, General Services Office (GSO) Dr. Maurice Mbaeri, decried the decline in budgetary allocation meant for insuring public assets.

After learning that the premium to be paid for insuring public assets are centralized in the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HoS), Dr. Mbaeri said “there is no way the HoS alone can cover insurance premium for all the MDAs.

He therefore advised the Commission to “write for the decentralization of insurance premium amongst the MDAs.”

Earlier, the Chairman, Governing Board of NAICOM, Dr. Abubarkar Sani, pleaded with the SGF to support the Commission in executing compulsory insurance scheme for all MDAs.

According to him, “the Commission is interested in seeing all government assets being insured, we want the SGF to issue a circular or letter to all MDAs on the necessity of compulsory insurance.”

However, an industry chieftain who spoke to AssurPen Online on condition of anonimity with regard to the latest government move to force it’s oarastatals and agencies to insure Federal Government properties in the country, said that the insurance industry welcome the new development, but we still keep our fingers crossed because hitherto government have made similar pronouncements in the past years which they did not honour.

For instance, he said “majority of the government officials do not take risk mechanism seriously, hence insurance is an erroneous issue in the government circles. According to him, it is a fact that some of the ministries that insert insurance premium in their yearly budget head, end up diverting these funds meant for payment of insurance premium to other sectors they think are more relevant to the government. As a result, he said, you find these abandoned properties scattered all over the country because of this promise and fail attitude of government.”

According to him, “if the present government are willing to co-operate and collaborate with the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) to deal with this issue, it will do a lot of good to the government as well as the insurance industry in Nigeria because insurance mechanism the world over is the back-bone for both public and private businesses in the economy to exist and function effectively.”

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