By Etuka Sunday
A UK based lawyer and management consultant has said that the current state of terrorism in the country could have been curtailed, had we built a robust and fit-for-purpose insurance industry.
Kachi Okezie, told journalists in Abuja Monday that in advanced societies, the insurance industry is a major deterrent to negligence by both public authorities and the general public.
“The insurance industry is well known for its powerful lobbies all over the world. In the UK, the industry has forced non-performing police chiefs from office for failing to curb rising crimes such as burglary which hurt the industry’s finances the most.” Okezie added, “Despite its avowed refusal for decades, to talk to the IRA, analysts believe the bombing of the City of London (the Square Mile), heart of the global financial centre and traditional home of Lloyds, the world’s premier insurer, marked the turning point which forced the government to the table, resulting in the peace process; all in response to pressure from the insurance industry who threatened to decline further pay-outs to victims.”
“Aside of individual cover,” Barrister Okezie explained, “the government’s own responsibility is captured in the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme (2001) administered by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority under which compensation is payable to anyone (regardless of their nationality) who has sustained a criminal injury on or after August 1 1964. A ‘criminal injury’ is defined under the scheme as being “one or more ‘personal injuries’ directly attributable to a crime of violence which has been sustained in Great Britain” and includes both physical and mental injuries.
He said, “Imagine how differently government, the business community and individuals would behave were they under pressure from the insurance industry. People would think more about risk and compensation. Do you think some of the obvious lapses we’ve seen in the FCT and beyond would exist if the administrations had been slapped with a bill for USD100m each time an incident happened?
Okezie who was in the country for the world Economic Forum Africa, congratulated the Federal Government on the highly successful hosting of the event which he said would go a long way in redeeming much of the country’s lost pride.
He then called on all those countries who have voiced their support for Nigeria to back their words with action and revise their negative travel advice on Nigeria, saying “That’s what determines insurance risk assessment for the country, not sweet words on CNN.”