Board of NIC commits to pushing Insurance penetration in Ghana

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The Board of Directors of the National Insurance Commission (NIC) has given a strong indication that it will work assiduously to push insurance penetration from the current two per cent to a double-digit figure as part of its four-year mandate.

The Chairman of the board of the insurance regulatory commission, Emmanuel Ray Ankrah, says the current board is willing to work for the sector to meet the economic development agenda of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration led by President Nana Akufo-Addo as part of the board’s four-year mandate.

According to him, the current two per cent penetration in the sector is nothing to write home about and members are willing to roll up their sleeves to work and make insurance a household product in the country.

He said the industry should be a vital component of the financial sector to enhance the socio-economic development of the nation.

He expressed the hope that the new Insurance Act, which was at the draft stage, would incorporate public liability, professional indemnity, insurance of government properties and marine insurance to boost penetration level.
He gave the assurance that members are willing to work to reposition the insurance industry in the country just like in the developed parts of the world.

Ankrah made this assertion when the board paid a working visit to the Deputy Minister of Finance, in-charge of finance, Mr Charles Adu Boahen, in his office in Accra.

He stated that the board was aware of the ministry’s position on reviving the sector to meet the current demands in the insurance sector in the country.

“We are mindful of the government’s decision to make the insurance industry part of the financial sector of the economy by rolling out products that will encourage sector players to be innovative in their product generations.
“We are also aware claims payment in the country has slowed over the years and the new board is working hard to ensure claims are thoroughly investigated and paid on time in accordance with the rules of insurance engagements in the country,” he averred.

He assured his team will make a case for deposing of claims to help raise awareness to increase penetration in the country.

The Commissioner-General of NIC, Justice Yaw Ofori, remarked that it is about time Ghanaians see insurance as a key player in the financial sector of the economy.

He admitted that the commission needs the government’s support to strengthen the insurance bond markets as no insurance company in the country has the capacity to operate in the oil and gas sector of the economy.

According to him, capitals in the oil and gas sector of the economy continue to be flown out of the country annually at the detriment of the state because of the lack of capacity in the sector.

“Insurance companies need more money to be able to absorb risk in the booming oil and gas sector of the economy,” he reiterated.

He further appealed to the government to pass the Insurance Bill into an Act to further regulate the sector.
Charles Kofi Adu Boahen, a Deputy Finance Minister, has called for innovative insurance structures and products that are better suited for the Ghanaian market, instead of a replication of products and services from the advanced countries.

He said the insurance industry was supposed to play a vital role in the advancement of the national economy, and, therefore, called for radical changes and direction in that sector.

“We need to think about deepening financial inclusion and bring more people into the formal economy to participate in the credit sector to help ease their livelihoods,” he said.

Boahen said this when the board and management of the National Insurance Commission (NIC) paid a courtesy call on him, in Accra, on Wednesday.

He called for re-capitalisation of the insurance companies, which currently stood at GH¢15 million, so as to ensure financial intermediation and move the national economy forward.

He expressed delight over the sense of urgency the board and management of the commission had shown towards carrying out its mandate, and reiterated government’s commitment to work with them to increase the insurance penetration rate.

Boahen said the ministry’s doors were opened to listen to the concerns and ideas from stakeholders in the insurance industry and collectively work to accelerate national development.

Source: John Elliot Hagan || The Finder

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