INSURANCE Regulators in English speaking West Africa countries have signed a Multilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MMU) in Abuja, Nigeria, to establish a mutually acceptable basis of cooperation and consultations.
The move is to achieve their common objectives of effective and efficient supervision and provide a formal basis for the collaboration of their respective supervisory authorities.
A statement issued by the Public Relations Officer of the National Insurance Commission, Kojo Ghanney, and copied The Ghanaian Times, named the insurance regulators as the National Insurance Commission (NIC), Ghana; the Central Bank of Liberia, the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), Nigeria; the Sierra-Leone Insurance Commission (SLICOM) and the Central Bank of The Gambia.
The regulators, according to the statement, would be known and addressed as West Africa Insurance Supervisors Association (WAISA).
The formation of WAISA will assist in avoiding regulatory arbitrage and rather bridge any gap in insurance supervision.
The National Insurance Commission of Ghana was represented by the Commissioner of Insurance, Miss Lydia Lariba Bawa while the Sierra Leone Insurance had its Commissioner of Insurance, Mr. Augustus A. Kanu with the Nigerian Commission, the host, represented by its Commissioner of Insurance, Alhaji Mohammed Kari.
The strategic objectives spelt out in the MMU, according to the statement were to support effective supervision, help understand supervisory practices of each other’s country, create better crisis management system, enhance micro-economic development stability and conduct peer review of companies with the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) standards.
It mentioned other objectives as enhancing exchange of information, developing standards and guidelines as well as encouraging its implementation and application, facilitating the pooling system, reducing regulatory burden, and enhancing coordinated supervisory review.
The rest are to collaborate in cycle of licensing and supervision, enhance effective oversight, monitor systemic risk enhance macro-prudential analysis, and collaborate in facilitating access to insurance.
Addressing the meeting, Miss Bawa of Insurance of Ghana, reminded colleagues who were yet to register with the IAIS to do so as they stood to benefit tremendously by way of technical expertise and educational resources.
She noted that Francophone countries had taken a giant step by getting together with their counterparts in Central Africa to form the Conference Interafricaine bes Merche’s d’Assurance (CIMA) and had gone further to register the group with the IAIS. “The benefit of that collaboration cannot be overemphasised.”
She noted that The Gambia and Liberia had still not gained autonomy from their respective central banks and encouraged them to use the occasion to seek separation to enhance their supervisory mandates.
Miss Bawa appealed to ECOWAS to fully extend its support to WAISA to ensure that insurance penetration within the West Africa sub-region increased tremendously.
By Times Reporter