Tanzania Industry Workers Support National Insurance Corporation Restructuring

As the National Insurance Corporation (NIC) prepares to lay-off approximately 500 if its staff, union workers in the Tanzania industry community have expressed that the workers are prepared for the lay-off as long as they are compensated with their terminal benefits, as regulated by an earlier agreement.

Following recommendations from Members of Parliament, international financial institutions and other stakeholders, the cabinet granted approval for the restructuring of the NIC.

In a move that was designed to help strengthen and reinforce the NIC, the government has decided to pay off the required Tshs 5.1 billion in terminal benefits as it prepares to restructure the financially ailing NIC.

Until recently, the NIC has been a strong competitor in the mandatory motor vehicle insurance industry, but has been weak in other types of insurance, including fire and life, items which could be addressed during the restructuring process.

Clear details describing how the proposed restructuring will be undertaken are not yet available, nor are distinct cost estimates concerning how much will be required in order to ensure that the NIC is able to stay afloat financially and succeed in a highly competitive insurance market that is filled with foreign firms.

According to a report by the Daily News, the branch chairman for the Tanzania Union of Industrial and Commercial Workers Organization (TUICO), Michael Mwakyusa, has said that the workers are prepared for the lay-offs and that some had begun collecting their compensation checks from the Tshs 5.1 billion that had been set aside.

“We are also aware that the Consolidated Holdings Corporation (CHC) has been preparing the checks since last (Tuesday) night,” said Mr. Mwakyusa, “but since we were involved in the process from the beginning, we are not worried that things will not go according to the plan.”

The NIC recently issued a public notice announcing the forthcoming termination exercise, in which they also announced that the offices would be closed for two days.

The notice was issued by Board Chairman of the NIC, Dr. Hamisi Kibola, who said that the procedures had been put in place for the upcoming recruitment of new staff and that these procedures were in line with the needs of the NIC.

Dr. Kibola went on to say in the notice that the termination of employees was in keeping with an agreement that had been reached between the NIC employees via their Union representatives, the Government of Tanzania, and the CHC.