By Bassey Udo
L-R: Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, with the Chaiem of Governing Board of NAICOM, Abubakar Sani, and NAICOM Commissioner for Insurance, Oluwadare Sunday, recently
A Nigerian insurance industry committee on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) was on Wednesday constituted, with a mandate to coordinate the industry’s strategic response to the continental trade area agreement and its implementation.
The terms of reference of the 15-member committee also liaising with relevant agencies of government and other bodies on the implementation of the AfCFTA Agreement in the industry; develop and ensure effective implementation of measures to ensure the industry effectively exploits the benefits of AfCFTA.
The committee is also expected to develop and ensure the implementation of measures to protect the Nigerian insurance industry from being negatively impacted by AfCFTA; engage and/or liaise with relevant bodies and agencies such as the National Action Committee on AfCFTA, Nigerian Office for Trade Negotiations on implementation of the AfCFTA Agreement and any such body, as well as lead bilateral negotiations with any interested State Party regarding the Nigerian insurance sector.
At the inauguration of the committee in Abuja on Wednesday, the Commissioner for Insurance, National Insurance Commission (NAICOM),Oluwadare Sunday, said the committee would also regularly consult with relevant stakeholders to ensure that positions or views canvassed were reflective of the interest of the Nigerian insurance industr participate in relevant meetings, seminars, workshops, conferences, etc and articulate the Nigerian insurance industry’s views on AfCFTA; regularly submit updates/reports regarding developments on AfCFTA and activities of the Committee to NAICOM as well as carry out such other relevant activity(s) the Committee may consider beneficial to the industry in respect of AfCFTA implementation.
Apart from informing the National Action Committee on AfCFTA of the constitution of the Committee, Sunday said NAICOM has also solicited the collaboration with both committees on matters relating to the implementation of the AfCFTA Agreement, to ensure it was done in the overall interest of the Nigerian insurance industry.
Urging the committee members to justify their appointment into this Committee by utilizing their vast experience, track record of selfless service and dedication to the cause of the Nigerian insurance industry, the NAICOM boss said the industry was confident they would aid the attainment of the mandate of the Committee to ensure beneficial implementation of the AfCFTA.
The committee, which has Ekeoma Esther Ezeibe as Chairman, also has Lanre Ojuola of the Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA)
as Secretary, while members included Tunde Hassan-Odukale, Funmi Omo, and Yetunde Ilori, all of NIA.
Others include SinaElusakin, Eric Omozejele, and Bimbo Onakomaiya, all of the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB); Bola Temowo, Ikechukwu Udobi and Lebi Omoboyowa, all of the Institute of Loss Adjusters of Nigeria (ILAN), as well as Usman Jankara, Taiwo Adeoye and Ahmed Metteden of NAICOM, with Shola Ajibade of the Professional Reinsurance Association of Nigeria (PRAN).
The NAICOM boss said the constitution of the committee was in furtherance of the resolve to ensure the Nigerian insurance industry not only responded appropriately to developments in the larger society, but particularly as a united front in its responses to these developments.
To enhance the involvement of the Nigerian insurance industry in the activities of the National Action Committee on AfCFTA), the NAICOM boss said it was resolved at the 9th Meeting of the Insurers’ Committee on July 1, 2021 that each arm of the Nigerian insurance industry should nominate experienced representatives to participate on the relevant Workstream of the NAC-AfCFTA.
To give effect to this resolution, he said the different arms of the Nigerian Insurance Industry were requested to nominate/provide representatives that would work/liaise with the NAC-AfCFTA.
Consequently, Sunday said at the 11th Meeting of the Insurers’ Committee on April 7, 2022 in Lagos, it was resolved that a standing committee be constituted to coordinate the Nigerian insurance industry’s response as well as develop and implement strategies/measure to ensure that the Nigerian insurance industry effectively exploits the benefits of AfCFTA.
To avoid duplication of committees and save time, he said it was resolved that representatives/nominees of NIA, NCRIB and ILAN, earlier forwarded to NAC-AfCFTA, be transformed into a Standing Committee of the Nigerian Insurance Industry to deal with matters relating to AfCFTA.