A collaboration between the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) and the FSD Africa with sponsorship from UK Aid targeted at enhancing regulatory capacity will bring efficiency in the supervision of insurance business and enhance policyholder protection, trust in the industry.
As identified by both partners, maximizing the untapped potential of the African insurance industry and exploring ways in which collaboration, technology and insurance supervisory capacity building, is capable of not only mitigating the impact of specific challenges experienced in the regulatory environment, but also improving the effectiveness of African insurance supervisory authorities.
Sunday Thomas, commissioner for Insurance/CEO, NAICOM speaking at the launch of Risk, Resilience and Regulatory LAB (R3LAB) in partnership with FSD Africa and UKAid in Lagos said “we are all aware of the evolving risks in the Africa economic space.
Thomas said such risks as climate change, pandemics, digitalization, inadequate understanding and lack of confidence in the insurance sector and the need for new strategies to enhance the capabilities of African insurance supervisory authorities are needed to effectively regulate and protect insurance policyholders.”
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Thomas said the R3LAB offers a three-tiered approach towards creating an enabling regulatory environment and equipping the regulator with sound, proportionate and fit-for-purpose practices.
He said, “Risk, Resilience, and Regulation are the key entry points for the R3Lab to build the technical capacity and skills of the regulator on innovation and sustainable insurance.
The R3Lab will facilitate the design of customized capacity-building programs and set up peer-to-peer exchange platforms, comprehensive learning toolkits, a resource center for data collection and reporting and topical taskforces and forums for insurance supervisors in Africa.
Thomas said the platform was the third joint-initiative that has been birthed through FSD Africa’s partnership with NAICOM.
“The first was FSD Africa’s on-going support in the review of existing regulations including identifying and articulating the key steps, framework(s), and tools required by NAICOM for Risk-Based Capital (RBC).”
“This will enable NAICOM to fully implement a scalable RBC Framework in Nigeria as well as to help it develop an innovation framework for NAICOM to fulfil its dual objectives of market development and policyholders’ protection.”
Thomas also said it is gratifying to state that, FSD Africa in furtherance of its support to NAICOM and the Nigerian insurance industry, recently launched the second project, the BimaLab Insurtech Accelerator in February 2022.
The platform he stated selects, coaches and mentors insurtech firms, granting these firms access to FSD Africa BimaLab Grant Fund in developing innovative business solutions focused on solving compelling economic or social problems. “I understand ten (10) selected participants are already undergoing 10 (ten) weeks intensive mentorship and coaching. Let me, on behalf of the Management and staff of the National Insurance Commission; express our sincere gratitude to FSD Africa for the invaluable support.
“It is my hope that through the commissioning of these projects and platforms, we create an enabling environment for the development of insurance products, which address the day-to-day challenges experienced by Nigerians in the face of environmental related risks.”
Thomas said availability of better products is likely to result in better service delivery and increase financial returns to investors, as NAICOM aims to achieve greater public trust and confidence in the insurance sector through “Innovation, Distribution and Effective/Efficient Service Delivery” which has been the cornerstone of our strategic focus and actions.”