In this interview with Yemisi Izuora, the deputy commissioner of insurance, (Technical) the Nigerian National Insurance Commission, NAICOM, Sunday Thomas, speaks on government intervention to accelerate agriculture insurance. He also expressed the concern that the herdsmen*farmers clashes poses threat to agriculture insurance
What is NAICOM currently doing to boost food security through insurance?
I think with what we are doing right now by creating the needed awareness from the supply side by getting the insurance companies involved by providing the needed cover, because when we talk of food security, those provider of food must be able to take risk and they must be assured that if anything goes wrong from their initiative, there must be a fall back position, and that is why insurance companies are there.
I think most of the initiatives that we are taking now is encouraging companies to come up and expand the scope of their existing business to include Agric insurance.
We are looking at Agric Index Insurance right now which is quite useful, and more companies are getting involved in Agric Insurance. It is no longer in the days of only NAIC.
We have about five companies now involved in Agric Insurance.
On synergy with Insurance companies to sensitize farmers?
We are working with NIRSAL and very closely too, the AfricanRe are also helpful, they are giving companies all they need to know by increasing their knowledge capacity in that area.
What are the implications of Herders/Farmers clashes to Agric Insurance in the country?
It should escalate cost of agriculture insurance, but you know these are things that Insurance should be able to take care of. Things that are of that nature requires some special attention, the best thing is to be between the government and the Insurance companies so that fatalities of this nature can be taken care off.
Malicious damage is what we now have between the herdsmen and farmers. And if you know that something will surely happen, why do you want to dwell into them? I want to believe most of the efforts that government is putting in place now to reduce this conflict will help, so that by the time we have just pockets of it, then it may become necessary for insurance companies to develop products that will be able to take care of that.
On Intervention by CBN?
NIRSAL is a subsidiary of CBN and NAICOM is working with them. They are working with insurance companies in underwriting some of this risk, I think it’s quite good.