Nigeria- Government Commits To Public Asset Insurance

Yemisi Izuora

The Minister for Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun has given the assurance that government would continue to insure public assets.

Adeosun who spoke through the permanent secretary in the ministry Mahmoud Isa-Dutse during the opening of the 2017 National Insurance Conference of the Insurance Industry Consultative Council (IICC) with the theme: “Nigeria open for business”, said “Foreign investors have demonstrated interest in the Nigerian insurance sector by entering the market and that progress can be seen in the introduction of new insurance products in the growing mortgage and housing sector.

“To consolidate on the progress being made, the Federal Government will play its part to ensure that government assets are adequately insured.”

She also disclosed that the federal government would train insurance brokers and underwriters because they were the people who would support individuals to purchase insurance policies that hedge potential losses of wealth and assets.

“We must be willing to expand the insurance market beyond the upper class and formally employed market, to the middle and lower income market. Doing this means that our distribution channels must be innovative, considering product features, cost, proximity and all other relevant factors,” Adeosun stated.

The Commissioner of Insurance, Mohammed Kari in his remarks said the Commission has commenced a review of its processes which includes timelines and datelines as stipulated and the longevity of time period for certain documentations e.g, approvals, licensing and permits.

The Chairman, Heirs Holdings Limited, Mr. Tony Elumelu, was of the opinion that for Nigeria to successfully position itself to promote domestic business and attract investments, the public sector must improve its process of doing business.

He gave an instance of Heirs Insurance Limited where despite focused attempts to finalize a License, the delay in processing has cost the company significantly in terms of resources and return on investment.

He said that the bureaucracy in Nigeria makes it difficult for investors to invest in Nigeria, while on the order hand country such as Rwanda is a fantastic example of governments pushing a reform agenda. This he said is a cause for concern and if not tackled, will discourage otherwise willing investors from within and outside the country.

He added that the private sector can only thrive with the support and enabling environment created by government and its agencies.

“We need the public sector to be willing partners in establishing the right, investment-worthy business environment we need in Nigeria. This is the only way Nigeria can be truly open for business.”

He applauded the NAICOM for the on-going industry reforms which, he said he hopes will take the insurance industry to its rightful leading position in the financial service sector, as is the case in the developed world.
According to him in more advanced economies, the insurance industry leads the financial service sector, even owning banks in several cases. “I expect this to happen very soon in Nigeria given the reforms in the pipeline. But regulators must wear a different hat or improve as the industry is transforming and modernizing.”

He added that operators need predictability, sense of urgency, responsiveness, etc. “We should encourage more Nigerians to participate in the insurance industry – prepare for and take specialized exams to become certified professionals, as is commonplace in banking. “This renewed interest and the accompanying cross ventilation of knowledge and ideas will enormously grow the insurance profession/market within a short time.”

Read These Too

Add Comment