The insurance sector in Nigeria has been urged to end the continued dialogue on prevailing opportunities inherent in the country; and actualize the opportunities that the industry provides for local and global investors,
Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Okechukwu Enelamah made the call recently in Abuja, at the 2017 National Insurance Conference organized by the International Insurance Industry Consultative Council (IICC) theme, ‘Nigeria Open for Business’.
The minister beckoned on the sector to drift from the rhetoric at regular conferences where critical issues are discussed, but such issues end at the conference devoid of a strong follow up for actualisation.
“Insurance industry is so important and so critical to the country. The secret of achieving relevance of insurance sector is to accept responsibility and get a clear vision for the industry.” Okechukwu Enelamah said, “It is not about gathering here and discussing critical issues that command people to clap their hands and that is it.
Insurance industry needs to move beyond the rhetoric, make something meaningful from the conference.”
Earlier in her address, the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun called on the insurance sector to intensify effort towards attracting foreign investments into the country, going by the huge earning opportunities It provides to investors.
According to the minister, foreign investors have demonstrated interest in the Nigerian insurance sector by entering into the market, which has led to the introduction of new insurance products in the growing mortgage and housing sector.
Represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Finance, Dr Mahmud Isa-Dutse, the fiancé said that it is expected that insurance industry reforms will continue to lure more investors’ into the country.
Adeosun reassured that the federal government is not unmindful of its responsibility to ensure adequate insurance of its assets, “To consolidate on progress being made, the Federal Government would play its part to ensure that Government assets are adequately insured.” While she assured of government support to the sector, “We will therefore, support this sector to continue to contribute effectively to sustainable and inclusive economic growth.” She noted that the sector had grown in recent years and should therefore be able to command investment to the country.
The minister stated, “The Nigerian insurance industry has evolved with premium growing from about N75bn in 2005 to over N300bn today, it contributes approximately 0.07 per cent to the Gross Domestic Product, which is less than the African average of 3.3 per cent and the global average of seven per cent.”
Commissioner for Insurance, Alhaji Mohammed Kari said the theme of the conference, ‘Nigeria open for Business,” is ideal for the federal government’s commitment to transforming insurance sector for good..
He added, to ease business in the country, financial regulation as presently constituted in Nigeria need an urgent review.
Kari stated, “Insurance is but a vital link in the vast chain of business activities in any economy. While being the best vehicle for reducing economic loss, it also serves as a stabilizer and promoter of an economy’s commercial activities.