The Federal Government on Monday, reiterated its commitment to transforming the insurance sector and ensuring the safety of Nigerians.
The Commissioner for Insurance (CFI), National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) Sunday Thomas, said this during the National Insurance Conference 2023 in Abuja on Monday.
The conference had as its theme” Redefining Safety- Insurance Solutions for Public Buildings and Buildings under Construction” .
According to Thomas, the conference is one out of numerous efforts of the Commission at creating the needed awareness of the general public of compulsory insurances.
”The National Insurance Conference is one of the initiatives of the Commission to achieve the objective of incentivising the law enforcement agencies, state governments, relevant professional bodies and all other stakeholders.
”The conference will also sensitise the general public and create the needed awareness of the place of insurance in redefining safety in Nigeria.
”The stakeholders will be discussing current and emerging issues, generate ideas and insights which can be transformed into actionable strategies for effective enforcement of compulsory insurances by relevant authorities and agencies of government.
”It is also hoped that this will usher in a new era of collaboration which will facilitate improvement in National Safety Standards,” he said.
The CFI said the commission, under his leadership had remained resilient and focused on implementing initiatives that would foster development of the Nigerian insurance industry.
He said it had also aligned its fortune with that of the nation as the Africa largest economy.
The commissioner stated some flagship projects NAICOM implemented as part of the its medium term Strategic Plan 2021–2023, adding that the industry had experienced growth.
Thomas said: ”In terms of its performance, the industry premium income between 2014 and 2022 grew at an average of 13.6 per cent; from a premium income of N282 billion to N726.2 billion.
”The total assets of the sector also grew at an average of 12per cent for the same period; from an asset base of N827.5 billion in 2014 to N2.33 trillion in 2022.”
The NAICOM boss, however, said in spite of the growth that had been sustained, the roadmap enumerated some of the challenges affecting the desired growth of the insurance industry.
He listed the challenges to include talent gap, comparatively low public awareness, Insurance affordability, lack of trust and confidence in insurers, cultural and religious bias, Inadequate distribution channels, low enforcement, among others.
On plans for the coming years, Thomas said over the next decade (2024-2033), the Insurance industry would continue its transformation journey along Seven strategic thrusts.
He said the industry sought to transform the regulatory environment to sustain the industry growth and transition to risk-based capital model.
”Promote insurance awareness and adoption and broaden insurance product offerings and improve effectiveness of distribution channels.
”We seek to enhance digitalisation of the insurance industry, deepen the industry’s talent pool and capabilities; and support Nigeria’s economic transformation and sustainability agenda,” he said.
For his part, the Minister of Finance, Wale Edun, represented by his Permanent Secretary, Special Duties, Okonkon Udo, also reiterated the importance of insurance to national development.
According to Edun, the sector had significant role to play in saving the government from unforseen disasters, thus needs to be unlocked.
The minister said the relevance of the sector needed to be made obvious to all critical stakeholders as it would stimulate it take its rightful place in the society.
While reiterating some challenges of the industry, Edun urged the players and relevant stakeholders to look into the challenges to encourage Nigerians key more into insurance.
He, therefore, assured the commitment of President Bola Tinubu’s administration to create an enabling environment for the sector to thrive.
He said, ” The ministry will continue to support NAICOM’s effort to implement reforms, ensure good corporate governance practices in insurance institutions, zero-tolerance to non-settlement of legitimate claims among others.
”Let me assure you that the administration of President Tinubu will continue to support market development initiatives of the commission
”As you launch the Nigerian Insurance Industry Transformation Roadmap, it is hoped that it will guide the operations of the industry efficiently and effectively.”
BRANDPOWER reports that the conference was attended by government officials, royal fathers and stakeholders in the sector, among others, who also pledged their commitment to the safety of Nigerians.