It is almost exactly one year to the day since the National Insurance Commission (NIC) Taskforce was inaugurated in Ghana, and tasked with enforcing the Insurance Act of 2006, which prescribes that private commercial buildings or property should be insured against collapse, flood, fire, earthquake and any other hazard.
The taskforce is responsible for the arrest and prosecution of offenders and is comprised of several high ranking public service officials, including the Chief Superintendent of Police, the Deputy Chief Fire Officer and Greater Accra Regional Commander of Ghana National Fire Service, as well as a representative from the Ghana Insurance Association.
The five arrests are just the latest in several initiatives that have taken place over the last year. Ten businesses were targeted in August, resulting in one arrest and the task force claims that only around 20% of those notified comply with directives.
It is understood that compulsory insurance is intended to make room for complementary funding for the Motor Insurance Compensation Fund and the Fire Fund, which provide funds and equipment to organisations assigned to fire fighting, while research from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority indicates that the majority of motor vehicles remain uninsured.
But with governmental corruption an ever present issue in Ghana, the Commissioner of Police, John Kudalor, felt the need to warn the members of the task force not to use their mandate to intimidate, extort or harass property owners.