At the 2018 National Insurance Conference organised under the auspices of the Insurance Industry Consultative Council (IICC) taking place in Abuja, regulators and operators in the Nigerian Insurance sub-sector have met to find ways to increase the number of policyholders while reducing the figure of the financially excluded people in the country.
The gathering which has the participation of the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN) among other critical professionals drawn from across different sectors of the economy are discussing insurance and how best to harness its enormous potentials to enhance its contribution to the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP).
In his remarks, commissioner for insurance/CEO, Mohammed Kari, disclosed that NAICOM was ready to launch the Nigerian Insurance Industry Development Plan (NIIDP), which he said has financial inclusion as one of its major components.
“Work on the NIIDP has already been concluded with inputs from KPMG, a consulting firm who will also independently monitor its implementation to ensure each segment of the market keep to date with their assigned responsibilities,” he said.
Kari added that the plan has been presented to the Insurers Committee, a body comprising management of NAICOM, CEOs of insurance companies and heads of insurance trade associations and the CIIN.
Speaking on the theme of the conference, Kari noted that financial inclusion was premised on the principles of equity (i.e. social cohesion and bridging the gap in income equality) and inclusive economic growth & development. “How the insurance sector in Nigeria could effectively and efficiently navigate this turn to increase the number of policyholders while reducing the figure of the financially excluded, are part of what the NIIDP contain. The strategic initiatives and implementation plans of the NIIDP notwithstanding, we have dedicated this forum to financial inclusion for an opportunity to listen to speakers and discussants with divergent views and opinions so as to improve on what we already have,” he stated.
Chairman of Zenith Bank Plc., Jim Ovia, in his keynote address emphasized that for its success, financial inclusion must be affordable, easy to access using the right payment systems.
“Without mobile or micropayment system, you cants ensure financial inclusion. We should be targeting the very poor and uneducated in the nation’s drive for financial inclusion, “ he said. He recalled that financial inclusion was introduced to encourage savings. He identified some of the constraints to easy penetration of micro insurance in the country to include complex insurance products, lack of awareness and disinterest or better priorities than insurance premium for poor people.
Head,Financial Inclusion Secretariat of the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN), Mrs Temitope Akin-Fadeyi, who stood in for the apex bank urged insurance operators in the country to ensure diverse insurance products to enable more citizens to key into insurance.
She said segmentation was key to reaching the financially- excluded and urged operators in the industry to leverage on micro insurance to grow the bottom of the pyramid in the country.