The Consumer Protection Council (CPC) on Saturday said efforts were being put in place to curb the abuse of the rights of insurance consumers in the country.
The Director General of CPC, Mrs Dupe Atoki said this at the ongoing Annual National Insurance Consumers’ Colloquium held in conjunction with Pastures Consult Ltd. and Dividend in Lagos.
The theme of colloquium is “100 Years After: Is Insurance Working in Nigeria?’’
She said that the council would not expose such efforts at the colloquium, adding that the council had gathered that consumers were faced with numerous challenges.
According to her, the challenges include sale of fake insurance policies, incessant delays in payment of claims among others.
Atoki, who was represented by her deputy, Mr Joshua Yakubu said that the council would develop synergy with insurance consumers and regulators for a common ground in dealing with already identified challenges.
She, however, enjoined every Nigerian to get involved in insurance policies not for personal reasons alone but for national prosperity.
Mr Jude Modilim, the Group Head, Energy and Special Risk of International Energy Insurance Plc, who spoke on the economic importance of insurance to national development, said that the industry needed to combat low awareness of insurance in the country.
Modilim urged practitioners to embrace consumerism, which meant that consumers’ interest should always be promoted.
“Once the citizens are conscious of insurance, national growth and development will be rapid.
“This is because insurance goes beyond providing security, insurance generates financial resources for investment in bonds. It is also an important source of capital formation,’’ he said.
Mr Toke Falana, who delivered a lecture on “Enforcement of Insurance and Insurance Related Laws “ said that the country needed to do more by investing in education, health and other social insurance.
Section 14 (2b) of the Constitution provides that the welfare and security of the people shall be the primary purpose of the government
“Nigeria with all abundant resources has not been able to insure the life of her people by investing in education, health and other social services,“ he said.
He said that the insurance laws applicable in the country were deficient in many areas because the rights guaranteed by those laws are usually breached with impunity.
“Importantly, I would conclude by calling on insurers to ensure that claims are paid promptly by insurance companies.
“The government also needs to execute some provisions in insurance laws and embark on enlightening programmes for citizens to appreciate the benefits of insurance,“ he said.
One of the participants, Gabriel Offor, commended the organisers for putting the colloquium together.
According to Offor, all stakeholders in the industry have a role to play as everything must be transparent.
The Annual National Insurance Consumers’ Colloquium is a platform for an in-depth discussion and a means of taking practical steps in dealing with and managing the various challenges concerning insurance consumers.