The Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN) is set to align with other arms of the industry to attract professionals to tackle the dearth of competent marine underwriters.
The President of CIIN, Oyegunle Muftau, who disclosed this in an interview, noted that the various arms need to work together to make sure they sell a future in the marine area to insurers.
He said once operators knew that there is a future there, they would go in that route and everybody would be happy about it. “To the credit of the Institute, every year, the number of professionals we produce is increasing.
The increase may not be in radical numbers, but the number of professionals has been going up. “The issue here is in the area of specialisation. Where are people concentrating their efforts? At a stage, it was aviation that was the problem. Another stage it was life that was the problem.
These days, there are whispers of Marine here and there,” he said. He maintained that the institute has more than three marine courses in its syllabus, stressing that one of courses is at the diploma level and two at the qualifying level. “But the question is, are people taking them?
My answer may be as good as yours. Because if people are taking them, I think the industry will not be complaining. “We cannot force people to become specialists in certain areas. The courses are there, people are free to specialise in that area, but of course, you know people will specialise in areas they feel they have a clear future,” he added.
Over the years, the Marine Office Committee of Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA) has lamented on the dwindling knowledge of marine insurance and the need to revamp and enhance technical knowledge of members.
The Committee in its 2019/2020 report presented and published in the association’s annual financial report, emphasized the need for capacity building. Industry watchers believed, insurers need to do more to earn the confidence of mari-time practitioners who are willing to do the right thing.
Conceivably marine insurance in Nigeria would have been more developed if the practitioners were more competent in handling maritime issues. The maritime industry world over is a peculiar and complex sector that requires special expertise to manage the risk inherent in the business.
According to a report it is believed that the country is being deprived of billions of naira as a result of the dearth of local professionals in marine insurance. In another instance, it is estimated that the lack of professionals in the marine insurance business results in over N50 billion annual loss.
This shows that insurance practitioners are not well equipped from the universities on the peculiarities of the maritime industry.
This lack of expertise explains why some ship owners prefer to patronise foreign re-insurers which has further encouraged capital flight. This is happeningin spite of the fact that 41 insurance companies are licensed to transact marine insurance business