In a bid to achieve a more resilient insurance sector in Nigeria, the National Insurance Commission(NAICOM) has officially launched the Risk, Resilience and Regulatory Laboratory (R3Lab).
The R3Lab is expected to serve the need for evolving new strategies to enhance the capabilities of African insurance supervisory authorities to effectively regulate and protect insurance policyholders.
Speaking at the launch of the R3Lab on Wednesday, in Lagos, the Commissioner for Insurance, NAICOM, Mr Thomas Olorundare stated that “The setting up of the R3Lab was given impetus by our mutual interest in maximizing the untapped potential of the African insurance industry and exploring ways in which collaboration, technology and insurance supervisory capacity building is capable of improving the regulatory effectiveness of African insurance supervisory authorities”.
The Commissioner for insurance explained that the R3Lab offers a three-tiered approach towards creating an enabling regulatory environment and equipping the regulator with proportionate and suitable practices.
According to Mr. Olorundare, “Risk, Resilience, and Regulation are the key entry points for the R3Lab to build the technical capacity and skills of the regulator on innovation and sustainable insurance.
“The R3Lab will facilitate the design of customized capacity-building programs and set up peer to peer exchange platforms, comprehensive learning toolkits, a resource center for data collection and reporting and topical taskforces and forums for insurance supervisors in Africa”.
Commending development partners such as Financial Sector Deepening Africa (FSD Africa) and UK Aid for their support towards the initiative, Mr Thomas revealed that the platform was the third joint-initiative that has been birthed through FSD Africa’s partnership with NAICOM.
“The first was FSD Africa’s ongoing support in the review of existing regulations including identifying and articulating the key steps, framework(s), and tools required by NAICOM for Risk-Based Capital (RBC).
“This will enable NAICOM fully implement a scalable RBC Framework in Nigeria as well as to help it develop an innovation framework for NAICOM to fulfill its dual objectives of market development and policyholders’ protection.
“It is also gratifying to state that, FSD Africa in furtherance of its support to NAICOM and the Nigerian insurance industry, we officially launched the second project, the BimaLab Insurtech Accelerator in February 2022”, the NAICOM Boss said.
This platform the NAICOM boss explained “selects, coaches and mentors insurtech firms, granting these firms access to FSD Africa BimaLab Grant Fund in developing innovative business solutions focused on solving compelling economic or social problems’.
With ten selected participants already undergoing 10 weeks intensive mentorship and coaching, Mr. Olorundare was hopeful that the projects and platforms, would create an enabling environment for the development of insurance products.