The newly appointed Board Chairman of the Sierra Leone Insurance Commission (SLICOM) has expressed his commitment and determination to make the insurance industry viable so as to generate premiums. He made this remark during a familiarization meeting with key stakeholders in the insurance industry at the Kimbima Hotel in Freetown.
He said that the mandate of SLICOM is to regulate, supervise and provide leadership direction for the industry which was established in 2004 after the Sierra Leone Insurance Act was adopted by Parliament in 2000 to guarantee social and economic welfare.
Mr. King added that the Insurance Commission will be embarking on mobilization of savings for sustainable economic development and investments with a life insurance policy that can be instrumental for the mobilization of the savings of people in the Insurance industry.
He also said that “funds are held in trust for the benefit of the policy holders hence speculative ventures must be managed with professionalism”.
He noted that the insurance industry provides numerous direct and indirect benefits to individuals, families, other industries, commerce, Community and Nations.
The Board Chairman maintained that, those who insure are protecting themselves from adverse risk as insurance removes fears and future uncertainty, which encourages free investment of capital. He emphasized that no bank or financial institution will advance loan on property unless it is insured against loss or damage.
He catalogued some of SLICOM challenges in the areas of capacity building, training of personnel for the insurance companies through the commission, noting that “the current venue is unsuitable and unpleasant for any ideal business,” he lamented.
He further spoke about efforts being put in place by the commission to establish an organizational structure, logo and build a recognizable corporate image and identity adding that staff regulations and terms of the commission will be reviewed with the aim of re-inforcing transparency, efficiency and meritocracy.
Mr. King reiterated that, the commission will intensify its supervision and also control transactions between insurers and re-insurers for equitability and protection of policy holders, computerization of the operations of the commission and development of software for internal accounting and the analysis of the data secured.
He intimated that, meaningful capitalization of the industry is consistent to micro and macro local economics, “dynamics of local insurance companies may attract major clients with high risk portfolio”
Mr. Wilfred Sam King also expressed disappointment over the delay in the submission of the final print of the regulations to the commission to effectively facilitate the implementation of the provisions of the insurance act.
Concluding the Board Chairman of SLICOM promised to work tirelessly with the commission and key stakeholders to correct the imbalance by ensuring that current draft regulations are quickly reviewed by the board before it is presented to cabinet by the Ministry of Finance for its ratifications
Earlier the President of the West African Association of Insurance Companies and head of (RITCORP) assured the SLICOM Board of Directors of their support to make the insurance business a success and reconcile any indifference within the insurance industry in Sierra Leone for the way forward.
She promised to work hand in hand with SLICOM for the benefit of all Sierra Leoneans particularly their clients, and further spoke about the rules and regulations of the insurance industry that are yet to be published and appealed for their input before the final report is drafted and presented to SLICOM. “We must have a say in the decision making process that affects the insurance industry in order to strengthen and improve the image of the industry.” By Saidu Bah