From Uche Usim, Abuja
The Commissioner of Insurance (IFC), National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), Mr. Sunday Thomas, opened on Wednesday the Nigerian Insurance Industry Committee (NIIC) on the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) at a effort to deepen the participation of the insurance sector. in the activities of the regional trade platform.
Speaking at the launch, Thomas said the move followed the 9th meeting of the Insurers Committee held on July 1, 2021, which unanimously agreed that each arm of the Nigerian insurance industry should nominate representatives. experienced to participate in the relevant workflow of the National Action Committee on AfCFTA (NAC-AfCFTA).
Consequently, different branches of the Nigerian insurance industry were asked to nominate/provide representatives who would work/join with the NAC-AfCFTA.
The NAICOM chief lamented that although the nominations were later passed on to the NAC-AfCFTA, there have been no effective compromises between the NAC-AfCFTA and the representatives, even though the implementation of the AfCFTA agreement has gained great traction.
He noted that the Nigerian Bureau of Trade Negotiations (NOTN) recently requested the Commission to participate in several meetings, including receipt/verification of the final Schedule of Specific Commitments, for further transmission to senior officials commercial.
He further explained that the NAC-AfCFTA has also informed the Commission of its intention to organize another stakeholder workshop for the Nigerian insurance sector.
In view of these developments, Mr. Thomas revealed that at the 11th meeting of the Insurers Committee held on April 7, 2022 in Lagos, it was resolved that a standing committee should be constituted to coordinate the response of the insurance industry. of Nigeria, as well as developing and implementing strategies/measures to ensure that the Nigerian insurance industry effectively exploits the benefits of the AfCFTA.
He explained that in order to avoid duplication of committees and save time, it was resolved that the previous NIA, NCRIB and ILAN representatives/nominees, who were referred to NAC-AfCFTA, be transformed into a Nigerian Insurance Industry Standing Committee to be will deal with AfCFTA-related matters, adding that the NIA, NCRIB and ILAN have been consulted to reaffirm or update their nominees, while NAICOM has also appointed some of its employees as members of the Committee.
The members of the Committee are Mrs. Ekeoma Esther Ezeibe, who will be the President. Other members of the Committee include Mr. Tunde Hassan-Odukale, Ms. Funmi Omo, Ms. Yetunde Ilori, Mr. Shola Ajibade, Mr. Sina Elusakin, Mr. Eric Omozejele, Ms. Bimbo Onakomaiya and Mr. Mr. Ball Temowo.
Other members of the Committee are Pst Ikechukwu Udobi, Chief LebiOmoboyowa, Mr. Usman Jankara, Mr. Taiwo Adeoye, Mr. Ahmed Metteden and Mr. LanreOjuola of NIA, who will act as Secretary.
The Committee’s terms of reference, among other things, are to coordinate the Nigerian insurance industry’s strategic response to the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), as well as to liaise with relevant government agencies and other bodies on implementation. of AfCFTA. Agreement in the Nigerian insurance industry. The Committee’s Terms of Reference include the following:
Coordinate and articulate the response of the Nigerian insurance industry to the AfCFTA Agreement and its implementation.
Develop and ensure the implementation of measures to ensure that the industry effectively exploits the benefits of the AfCFTA.
Develop and ensure the implementation of measures to protect the Nigerian insurance industry from being adversely affected by the AfCFTA.
Engage and/or contact relevant bodies and agencies, such as the National Action Committee on AfCFTA, the Nigerian Trade Negotiations Office on the implementation of the AfCFTA Agreement, and any similar bodies.
Lead bilateral negotiations with any interested State Party in relation to the Nigerian insurance sector.