If we must win the public apathy to the business of insurance we must desist from unwholesome practices in the discharge of our responsibilities to the insured by playing as true professionals”.
These were the words of Mohammed Kari, new Commissioner for Insurance/CEO of the National Insurance Commission in his first official public assignment since his appointment two weeks ago.
Kari who was the investiture of Isioma Chukwuma, managing director, Nigeria Re as the 47th President of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN) said NAICOM as a regulator is committed to high standard of professionalism and ethical behaviour in the insurance industry so as to regain the confidence of policyholders and increase insurance contribution to the GDP.
He stated that current developments in the country obviously call for our collaborative effort to reposition the profession and the industry. “We should not be unmindful of the perception of the insurance profession by the public. The apathy towards insurance and the way and manner the profession is being addressed need a rethink from all of us.”
According to him, there is need for a reawakening to ensure only trained personnel are allowed to practice. You will agree with me that insurance services are being rendered by persons and bodies without adequate training. We must embrace professionalism as core value in our industry. To achieve that we must train all persons that carry our flags to our consumers.
“As the Professional arm of the industry, indiscipline and unethical practices by your members should be of grave concern to the institute. Insurance practitioners and professionals should be seen to uphold the tenets of the profession both in their words and actions.”
According to him, it is not enough for the Institute to breed and certify insurance professionals only, but must also ensure that they are regularly updated through training and retraining to enable them measure up with current global trends.
“I would want to see the institute become a one stop shop for the teaching of good ethics and building good characters as it relates to the practice of insurance. Insurance practitioners should always imbibe the spirit of professionalism in their dealings.”
If we truly practice as professionals that we say we are, we should be seen as men and women of proven integrity, we should avoid unethical practices because it will not only send bad signals to the public, it will further erode the little respect left, he observed.