Bawumia lauds Insurance Commission for pursuing digital agenda

Government has urged the National Insurance Commission (NIC) to collaborate with players in the insurance industry and relevant government institutions to ensure its digitisation efforts are in sync with the government’s policies and strategies to achieve their objectives.

The digitisation interventions being pursued by the Government and other public sector institutions are expected to improve access to insurance for informal sector operators such as petty traders, farmers, beauticians, fishermen, hairdressers and artisans.

Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia made the call at the third edition of the National Insurance Commission Board Chairman’s cocktail reception in Accra, on the theme: “Digitising Ghana’s Economy: The Role of the Insurance Sector”.

He lauded the management of the NIC for undertaking various digital initiatives to enhance its operations and said he believed those interventions would help harmonise the entire architecture of the Ghanaian economy.

The cocktail reception was instituted by the Commission in 2017 to create a conducive setting for government officials, policy-makers, co-regulators of the financial services sector and operators in the insurance industry to interact and review the achievements of the sector.

Vice President Bawumia, for instance, said the Motor Insurance Database, instituted by the Commission, would be connected to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority system to facilitate validation of insurance cover before issuance of road worthy certificate.

The move, he said, would help minimise the number of uninsured vehicles on the roads and thus, called for effective collaboration between various institutions to ensure effective interconnectivity.

The motor database, Dr Bawumia said, would enable the travelling public to verify the authenticity of the insurance policies of commercial vehicles before they board such vehicles, which would bring better awareness and protection to the Ghanaian.

Additionally, it would help stop the leakages from the insurance revenues through fake motor insurance stickers.

Currently, there are 30 percent of Ghanaians covered by mobile insurance coming second to South Africa in Africa.

Dr Bawumia said the insurance industry was a good vehicle for the mobilisation of long term local savings to fund the development of the country’s economic and social infrastructure, noting that, the sector had shown some good growth over the past few years.

However, he said, the expectations of the industry were yet to be fully accomplished as total assets grew from GH¢3.7 billion in 2016 to GH¢6.2 billion in 2018, which was insignificant compared to the total assets of some commercial banks.

He underlined the need for drastic and urgent steps to grow the insurance industry.

The new Insurance Bill, when passed into law, would also help improve the fortunes of the local marine and group life insurance businesses while the development of the annuities market would help pensioners to secure decent incomes in their old age, the Vice President said.

More so, the Draft Agricultural Insurance Policy, when approved and implemented, would provide an appropriate structure for the delivery of suitable, affordable and sustainable agricultural insurance products and services to farmers and agro-businesses.

Mr Emmanuel Ray Ankrah, the Board Chair of NIC, reminded insurance companies about the new minimum capital requirement of GH¢50 million, which was expected to be enforced on June 30, 2021, and urged all insurance firms to comply, to avert closure.

He said the Commission had opened additional three offices in Cape Coast, Sunyani and Koforidua to complement the four existing ones, thus, bringing the number to seven across the country.

This is to ensure safe, sound and reliable insurance services and bring it to the doorsteps of Ghanaians.

In addition, 2,000 insurance agents have been trained out of the 10,000 targeted to serve as a pool of workforce for insurance firms.

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