NAICOM boss tell insurers to embrace technology as panacea for emerging challenges in business operation

The Commissioner for Insurance/Chief Executive Officer, National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), Olorundare Sunday Thomas, has advised operators in the insurance industry to embrace technological mechanism as universal remedy for emerging challenges in the operation of businesses.

The NAICOM boss speaking at the 2021 Insurance Directors’ Conference held on Wednesday in Lagos, said that economies across the globe have been confronted with numerous challenges Nigeria inclusive.

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The insurance sector notwithstanding it’s resilience, he said, is not immune to this challenges, hence the need to constantly retool our business strategies.

According to the theme for this year’s conference “Insurance industry in a changing world”, Thomas said, “the theme surely speaks to the fact that the world has become ultra-dynamic.
He said “ The decisions we have to take as a body are critical to the survival of our entities. I am hopeful that our deliberations here today will provide us the inputs or necessary ingredients that can assist in making policies and strategies that will enhance survival and growth of our various institutions.

The rapid changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic in many fronts have drastically opened doors of opportunities for many positive thinking minds and created serious setback for many who are not able to cope with the speed at which some of these changes appeared. An obvious example is the technological advancement in the insurance industry which has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic compelling many of us to shift from the traditional ways of conducting business to more sophisticated and technology driven mechanisms. Indeed, am able to address you this morning virtually because of technological advancement popularised by the advent of the pandemic. While it has not been so difficult for some companies to adapt to the new world order, a lot of other companies have been struggling to cope.

The Commission on its part successfully launched the NAICOM Portal on 1st September, 2021 deployed to ensure effective and efficient interface between the Commission and our stakeholders. The Commission had since directed all operators to integrate their operations with the portal. It is imperative to inform you here that any company that is lagging behind in this regard is inadvertedly phasing itself out of business. Your respective attitude towards information technology funding in your various companies will go a long way in determining the longevity and existence of not only the companies, but the retention of the brand names or corporate identities. This is food for thoughts.

Again, the volatility, dynamism and complexities in the operations of today’s businesses has necessitated the need for a risk-based approach to the way and manner the Regulator conducts its supervision and inspection of insurance entities. It is on this premise that the Commission commenced the implementation of Risk Based Supervision (RBS) of the sector. We incepted the conduct of a pilot inspection of some select companies in September this year preparatory to full implementation and the reports are now being reviewed. Going forward, inspection of insurance entities will be on the RBS approach.

I want to urge you also to follow up on the implementation of International Financial Reporting Standards. IFRS 17 in your companies. The implementation dateline of 1st January, 2023 is right before us. Sufficient capacity building engagements have been conducted and sub-working groups inaugurated to facilitate the migration. You are therefore required to ensure that your entities are in full compliance and ready for the dateline

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