The first stand-alone microinsurance company licensed by the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), Goxi MicroInsurance Company Limited, was on Tuesday officially launched for operations in Lagos.
Dr Godwin Ehigiamusoe, Chairman of the company, said at the event that the establishment of Goxi MicroInsurance was in line with its institutional mandate of improving lives and supporting micro and small businesses.
“It is our conviction that low-income people and owners of micro and small businesses require robust risk mitigation service by the nature of their slim economic base.
“The targets of Goxi MicroInsurance Company Limited are the low-income people and micro and small enterprises that are highly vulnerable.
“The death of a bread winner in a low-income household can be devastating.
“Fire in the market place can wipe out the entire assets of an owner of micro and small businesses.
“Access to insurance cover is therefore vital to efforts to address poverty and expand the frontiers of finance, ” he said.
According to him, microfinance and microinsurance are complementary services that are very effective in addressing the challenge of poverty.
Ehigiamusoe said that while access to finance assists low income people to build up assets, insurance services protect their micro-assets.
He said: “Goxi MicroInsurance Company with the support of NAICOM is set to blaze the trail with delivery of responsive insurance policies through flexible and innovative structures.
“Low income Nigerians in rural and urban communities need a bouquet of insurance cover for their lives, farms, shops and assets for viability and effectiveness, serving low-income people require partnership and collaboration.
The chairman said the company would draw heavily on the cumulated skills on how to reach, engage and serve low-income people that is domiciled in the LAPO System.
He explained that Goxi MicroInsurance would be open to partnership with community-based associations and co-operative societies.
“We are not unaware of the challenges of providing insurance cover for persons at the bottom end of the society.
“The Board and Management of the company is poised to address these challenges through community engagement and enlightenment.
“We will strive to address the challenge of ‘God forbid’ and other cultural and psychological barriers, ” he said.
Ehigiamusoe commended NAICOM for the introduction of the micro insurance guidelines and appealed for support and encouragement from the regulator to address emerging issues.
Mr Shina Gbadegesin, Managing Director of the company, also said that the firm would operate as a Composite Microinsurer and was licensed as Lagos State Based.
Gbadegesin said that while the concept was not completely new in Nigeria, the only new development was the licensing of the MicroInsurance as a stand alone company under the guideline of NAICOM .
He lauded the Chairman of Goxi MicroInsurance for taking the step to be first company to key into the initiative to significantly improve the services rendered to the low income people.
The Managing Director said the firm had assembled a team of brilliant professionals with adequate experience to service the target customers.
“We have also made substantial investment in Technology to enable smooth partnership in delivering value to our customers, ” he said.
Gbadegesin urged different associations, aggregators, cooperative societies, MFB and MFIs to give the company an opportunity to access their members in order to offer Microinsurance services to them.
He disclosed that the company commenced Microinsurance Partnership with LAPO Microfinance Bank few months ago and the experience of offering service to the large number of their customers had been wonderful.
In his address , Mr Sunday Thomas, Commisioner for Insurance congratulated the Board and Management of Goxi MicroInsurance for the remarkable feat.
Thomas, represented by Mr Jibola Bankole ,an official in the Commision, said that the MicroInsurance unit of NAICOM had put in a lot of effort to ensure that only the right companies were licensed.
“Goxi is our first child in terms of Microinsurance and like every family is always happy to receive the first child ,we are happy to welcome the company into operation.
“It is expected that the operation of the company will be simple, understandable, accessible and