Art and Culture

FG Okays Insurance of Public Assets, Liabilities, Seeks to Decentralise Premium

todayAugust 5, 2022

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James Emejo in Abuja

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha yesterday said the federal government plans to mandate Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to insure all government assets and liabilities.

The SGF, who dropped the hint when he received the governing board of the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) in Abuja, added that a circular would soon be issued to that effect.

Represented by the Permanent Secretary, General Services Office (GSO), Dr. Maurice Mbaeri, Mustapha, also tasked the NAICOM team to come up with a draft document of what they want the circular to contain to guide the Office of the SGF in properly articulating the circular.

He said, “The draft circular should reflect what you want. If it meets the SGF’s expectations, it will be issued to the appropriate MDAs.
“Send a draft copy of the circular to the SGF, and after the review, the circular will be released to the MDAs.”
The SGF, however, decried the decline in budgetary allocation meant for insuring public assets.

Also, Mustapha, after learning that the premium to be paid for insuring public assets are centralised in the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HoS), argued that, “there is no way the HoS alone can cover insurance premium for all the MDAs.”

He therefore, requested NAICOM to, “write for the decentralisation of insurance premium amongst the MDAs.”
Earlier, the Chairman of the Commission, Dr. Abubarkar Sani, pleaded with the SGF to support the Commission in executing a compulsory insurance scheme for all MDAs.  

Sani said the Commission was interested in seeing all government assets insured, adding, “we want the SGF to issue a circular or letter to all MDAs on the necessity of compulsory insurance.”

NAICOM had since been canvassing for the insurance of public assets assets and liabilities.
The commission in February 2020, urged the federal government to adequately insure its assets and liabilities to avoid using taxpayers’ money to compensate victims amidst scarce resources.

The advice came amidst the growing agitation that the government should compensate victims of the recent civil unrest occasioned by the #EndSARS protests across the country.

NAICOM Head, Corporate Communications and Market Development Department, NAICOM, Mr. Rasaaq Salami, said the protests, though unfortunate emphasised the essence of insurance in risks mitigation.

He said: “We believe that if these properties are insured, the insurance companies will pay the appropriate claims to them.
“If government will support insurance and adequately ensure that government assets and liabilities are adequately insured, the issue of government dipping hands into its coffers to compensate victims would not arise.”

He said: “Imagine if stalls and markets were insured, if public buildings are adequately insured- insurance companies will take over all these liabilities, rather than government having to look for money or having to deep hands into the scarce resources to compensate victims, monies that could be channeled into other use.
“So our advice, and we will continue to stress it, is that government should ensure that their assets and properties and liabilities are adequately insured.”

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