The National Insurance Commission, NAICOM, is considering Kano State as a major growth tripod for spread of Takaful insurance (Islamic insurance) and the Nano, Micro, Small and Medium NMSME development across Northern Nigeria.
The NAICOM team was in the State on Monday to brief the State Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of its programmes and to seek his support in deepening insurance not only in the State but across the Northern States.
Commissioner for Insurance, Sunday Thomas, during the courtesy visit, informed Ganduje, that the Commission has enjoyed a long standing relationship with Kano State.
Thomas recalled that when the NAICOM was established by the Act of Parliament in 1997, Kano was chosen as one of the cities to host the Zonal Office of the Commission and since then the Commission have always chosen Kano for most of its activities in the northern region.
Equally the Commission in November, 2020 kick started its nationwide sensitisation workshop for Nano, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (N MSMEs) across the country and Kano state was our first point of call. So, Kano has been our second home.
He said to be in the State to discuss insurance growth was not out of place as Kano state in particular as the commercial nerve center of the northern region has the potentials of driving insurance growth.
“Going by the population statistics of Kano state it is obvious that the State is a critical stakeholder in increasing insurance penetration and growth of the sector in Nigeria.
Kano State as a centre of commerce has the opportunity to lead other northern states and serves as a hub for Takaful Insurance other wise known as Islamic Insurance in the country.
Kano state with its large scale commercial activities stands the opportunity of leading by example and taking advantage of the huge potentials in Takaful and Microinsurance products introduced by the Commission in order to address religious beliefs and economic differences about conventional insurance. Our survey during the last sensitisation workshop in the state indicates that there is huge interest and demand for insurance products especially Takaful in the state, which will in no small way assist in the survival and sustainability of small and medium businesses in the state.” Thomas said.
Since coming as the Chief Executive Officer of the Commission, Thomas said he has put so much effort into repositioning the Commission in order to improve and deepen insurance penetration across Nigeria with greater attention and concern to states with huge potentials but very low level penetration.
The focus according to him, is majorly in pushing the industry to more strategic market development initiatives as against the traditional regulation and compliance. “As Your Excellency is aware, one of the cardinal thrust that has been a forefront policy of the federal government is financial inclusion: assisting nano, micro, small and medium enterprises for a sustainable economic development and lifting families out of abject poverty. A major aspect of this drive is providing a safety net for the NMSMEs against unforeseen circumstances while securing millions of jobs and wealth created by the NMSMEs.
“Besides the need for the development and promotion of Takaful in Kano state, which indeed requires Your Excellency’s support, the Commission is also here to seek your buy-in on the implementation of compulsory insurances in Kano State and as well the need for the State Government to protect its assets and liabilities by adequately insuring them.” he advised.
He listed some of the insurances made compulsory by extant laws in the country to include, Motor Vehicles Third Party Insurance, Professional Indemnity insurance for Health workers, Public Building Liability Insurance, Insurance of Building under Construction above 2 floors, Group Life insurance under the Pension Reform Act and
Annuity for retirees.
The Commissioner added that there is a lot to benefit from the partnership of the Kano State Government and the Commission with respect to these insurances, taking a cue from other states that have voluntarily taken steps to domesticate some of these laws in their states for the greater advantage of their states.
He stated that Kano is leading in many fronts in the country, adding, “In motor insurance for example, Kano and Lagos states alone have almost more than 50% of vehicles plying the Nigerian roads and I am delighted to say here that if the state Government can partner with the insurance industry to bring all these vehicles under cover, it will significantly impact on the IGR of the state and boost revenue of all stakeholders.”