06 July 2015, Lagos – Insurance industry operators have expressed worry over the heavy tax burden placed on them by the Companies Income Tax Amendment Act 2007 (CITA), which now constitutes a big clog in their operations.
Chairman, Nigerian Insurers Association, the umbrella body of insurance underwriters Mr Godwin Wiggle said the insurance managers are no longer at ease with the situation and called on the present administration of president Muhammed Buhari to address the situation.
He recounted previous efforts made by the association to wriggle out of the problem saying : “In our determination to address the issue of the heavy tax burden placed on insurance companies by the law, a delegation of the governing council of our association met with the former minister of state for finance, Ambassador Bashir Yuguda in September last year to seek ways of getting a presidential waiver for the insurance sector on the implementation of the law pending necessary amendments.
“As a follow up to our presentation at the meeting, the association is engaging with the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) with a view to charting the way forward on the matter.
We are optimistic that the new government will address the issues raised,” he stated.
Wiggle, who spoke at a recent media briefing, also expressed the regret that Nigerians have not seen the need to engage insurance in their businesses.
According to him, Nigerians still see insurance as want not as need .
Wiggle said this is why even the compulsory insurances are not patronised.
He attributed this to non prosecution of offenders of compulsory insurance laws as well as non enforcement of compulsory insurances.
Furthermore, he said ignorance of benefits and rights in insurance by Nigerians is another contributor to non patronage of insurance in the country adding that because of this, the few that buy insurance buy from fake operators and when claims occur, they don’t know where to file their claims because the insurance certificates they have are those of non existing firms.
Expressing his pathetic feelings for such ignorant Nigerians,the NIA chairman advised the insuring public to be wise in their decision taking on insurance by listening to various awareness campaigns currently going on in the media and be able to discern between fake and genuine insurance firms.
He also advised insurance industry operators to put up more of the awareness campaigns and to pay more attention to education f the public n insurance.
– This Day