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Insurance sector can enhance economic growth — NAICOM

By on September 23, 2013

The National Insurance Commission, NAICOM, has said that the country is much likely to attain a sustained economic growth and development if it can adapt its insurance industry with innovative ways that will bring on board the generality of the country’s population.

Commissioner for Insurance, Mr. Fola Daniel stated this at the sensitisation workshop for stakeholders on key initiatives of the Commission held in New Karu, Nasarawa State last week.

According to Daniel, it is in this wise that NAICOM incepted the Market Development and Restructuring Initiative (MDRI) in 2009 to among others enforce compulsory insurances and eradicate fake insurances in the country.

Daniel said “This initiative has been vigorously pursued by the Commission across the six geo-political zones of the country. We are not hesitant to solicit your support in the implementation of compulsory insurances in Nigeria especially as regards insurances of your buildings and assets.” Daniel stated that the Nigerian insurance industry has witnessed tremendous changes in recent times owing to the new reforms embarked upon by NAICOM.

“These reforms include the introduction of Risk Based Supervision, migration to International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) from the Nigerian Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (NGAAP); Market Conduct Reforms, Claims Settlement Reforms, Financial Inclusion, etc, all geared towards developing the industry and improving the general perception about insurance,” Daniel said.
“Suffice it to say that these reforms are in line with the Federal Government’s vision 2020:20 of deepening insurance penetration to become the insurance industry of choice among the emerging markets in terms of capacity, safety, transparency and efficiency.”

Daniel stated that in order to ensure adequate understanding and build capacity amongst the stakeholders, the Commission did resolve to conduct series of workshops and seminars for all stakeholders, adding “Permit me to say that today’s programme is amongst the series of workshops and seminars earmarked to inform and educate our stakeholders towards the attainment of mutually beneficial relationship between our organisations. I therefore consider this forum an appropriate channel to raise public awareness on the key initiatives of the Commission aimed at further opening up the insurance market, and by extension increase the sector’s contributions to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the nation.”

Having also recognised the urgent need to develop the retail insurance market which has remained grossly untapped considering the vast population of the country, Daniel said that it became imperative for the Commission to incorporate micro-insurance and takaful as important vehicles for achieving greater insurance penetration in the country.

He said “In collaboration with GIZ of Germany and other development agencies, the Commission in 2012 conducted a Country-wide Diagnostic study on the viability of micro-insurance in Nigeria. One of our goals was to generate at the end of the exercise, a document that will enable us take evidence – based decision on the issue of micro-insurance in Nigeria and also serve as a public resource in its own right. Indeed, the report of the study reveals huge potentials amongst the low income groups and was consequently adopted by NAICOM for the development of a micro insurance framework in Nigeria.

“Similarly, NAICOM recently released the Takaful Guidelines to the market and now is ready for implementation. Preparatory to the commencement of the operation of the guidelines, the Commission has embark on series of capacity building programs for its management and technical staff in order to position the commission to effectively implement and supervise takaful operation in Nigeria.