Minister of Finance, Budget commissions NAICOM Portal in Abuja

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, yesterday commissioned the NAICOM Portal for deepening the Nigerian insurance market.

In her speech, she congratulated the board, management and staff of the Commission on achieving this feat, leveraging technology and data for the transformation of it’s processes, drive it’s regulatory and supervisory functions, increase operational efficiency and improve its corporate outcomes.

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She said “I understand that the Portal will serve as a platform for interconnecting all industry stakeholders to support real-time aggregation of data, automate its business processes and provide access to statistical data of the sector.

“The commissioning of the Portal should serve as a springboard for industry wide adoption of technology and innovation for efficient and effective service delivery, ease of transacting business and customer experience and satisfaction. The industry should provide quick turnaround time on their services, grant access to information when required without any inhibitions and maintain effective real-time communication with its customers.

“Dwindling Government revenue profile demands that the Commission must look into ways of increasing its revenue through the use of technology and the Portal in particular. I urge the Commission to ensure the Portal is connected to other government databases like the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) NIN Database, Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) Passport Database, Nigeria Integrated Customs Information system, FRSC’s National Vehicle Identification System, the National Vehicle Registry, State Licensing Databases among others in order to provide value added services to all Insurance Industry stakeholders and enhance revenue generation”.

In his welcome address, the Commissioner for Insurance/CEO, National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), Olorundare Sunday Thomas, said this is one of the initiatives of the Commission being pursued to deepen the insurance market and increase the penetration to the level that is consistent with the nation’s economy.

“On behalf of the Chairman, Members of the Governing Board, Management and Staff of the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), I am excited to welcome the Honourable Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr. (Mrs.) Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed and the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and Planning to the Commission for the formal commissioning of the NAICOM Portal. This is one of the initiatives of the Commission being pursued to deepen the insurance market and increase the penetration to the level that is consistent with the nations economy.

“We are indeed glad that today has become a reality and notwithstanding your various busy schedules, you have found the time to honour our invitation. Let me also use this opportunity to express my profound appreciation to the Honourable Minister for your sustained support and guidance towards the realization of this project. We thank you immensely.

“As some of us may be aware, the Commission in July 2009, embarked on a comprehensive computerization effort tagged project e-regulation that was meant to transform its operational procedures and the conduct of its regulatory responsibilities by providing a robust, world class ICT Infrastructure to help implement an automated business processes internally and for industry wide supervision via an integrated platform.

Prior to this development, the processing of applications required that applicants physically drop off their applications at the Commission with the attendant challenges of delays in processing times, wasted manpower hours due to back-and-forth in application processing as well as ineffective application tracking system.

Honourable Minister, permit me to state that with the completion of the portal there will be process efficiency and faster processing time as applications and supporting documents are submitted online, applicant’s account is updated with the status of the application as it progresses and there is effective Real-time communication between NAICOM and the applicant

The Portal also provides a Platform for interconnectivity by all industry stakeholders to support real-time aggregation of data on policies at the time of underwriting and policy issuance. Each policy will be issued with a unique policy ID that will be associated with the policy for the life time of the policy.

The Portal is presently made up of four systems:
1. The Policy System – It captures ALL insurance policies issued in Nigeria online real time via Application Programming Interface (APIs). It generates a unique policy identification number for all issued policies necessary to ensure fidelity and validity of all policies in the country and manages information on all insurance policies and premiums. It enables insurance customers and third-party entities such as Law Enforcement Agencies to query and validate insurance policies.
2. Licensing System- It automates the core business processes of Registration/Renewal of Licenses, New Products, AIP no objection & Attestation approvals at NAICOM. All of these application processes will proceed digitally from the application stage where all supporting documents are provided, to the review stage, the approval stage and license generation where applicable.
3. Complaints Management System- This is a customized solution designed to help the Commission manage complaints and handle issues seamlessly as well as ensure that insurance companies are performing highly and clients are serviced adequately. The system is also designed to integrate directly with NAICOM existing database, utilizing existing records of customers and insurance companies; it incorporates multiple channels for initiation of complaints including Social media applications (Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Twitter), Direct action on the complaint portal, Walk-in complainants, Regular media, Emails &SMS (Short Code) and Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD)
4. Regulatory Returns and Financial Analysis – It provides the platform for the submission of all Insurance Industry Regulatory returns and compliance electronically. The financial analysis module of it aims at automating financial analysis, credit control functions, computation of levies, and providing adequate and timely information to support management decision-making as well as serve as a central repository for current and historical financial information about the Insurers, Re-insurers, Brokers and Loss Adjusters.
Honourable Minister, distinguished guest, it is imperative to inform you as has been previously reported that this module of the project is funded directly by Africa-Re Foundation and I want to, at this point appreciate the African Reinsurance Corporation (African Re) for its funding of this critical software that would improve efficiency and effectiveness in supervisory and regulatory oversight of the Nigerian Insurance Industry.

Indeed, this is a welcome development and further demonstration of commitment by development partners to the transformation of the Nigerian economy and the change agenda of the current administration under the leadership of His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR.

Honourable Minister, it is expected that the challenges of poor insurance penetration, public trust and confidence in insurance, and inadequate real time statistical data of the insurance industry will be resolved through the efficient deployment of the portal. Also the direct interface with the Industry provided by the portal will ensure greater accountability and transparency. The digital Platform will provide a single point of Contact between NAICOM and the Insurance Industry.

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