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Insurance Industry and Task before President-Elect

Expectations and suggestions for the  incoming government of General Muhammed Buhari (rtd) continues to swell, as experts from different sectors across Nigeria are putting forward blueprints on how to revamp and consolidate critical sector of the country’s economy.

Meanwhile, the Nigeria Insurance Industry over the years have been struggling to catch up with countries like South Africa, Egypt, and some other African countries not to mention India, and other parts of the world.

However, operators and regulators in the industry have worked hard in the recent times to change the insurance mentality of an average Nigerians.

And to corroborate effort of the operators, the industry received some level of boost as the wind of transformation agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan, swept over the industry.

Now, the question is what fate awaits the industry when the President-Elect, General Mohammadu Buhari, eventually takes over from the 16 years reign of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) or what are the expectations of the industry.

Godwin Sunday Wiggle, Chairman of the Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA), said that the expectations of the industry remains as it was from the outgoing regime but said that it is the economy policy of the government that will determine what the expectation of the industry will be.

Although, he said there are many expectations of the industry among which is deepening the insurance industry.

“We will want to see what the government economy policy is because it is the economy policy that will determine what our expectation will be. There are so much expectations we are looking forward to, because we need to deepen the insurance industry and what kind of economy policy will they put in place that will support the deepening of insurance.”

On the N1 trillion premium target for the year, Wiggle, who is also the Managing Director of Linkage Assurance Plc, maintained that the industry players need to wait to see what the economy blueprint of the government will be if it will continue from where the present government will stop or come out with its own policy to know if the set target is still possible.

“Achieving the target of N1 trillion gross premiums for the year is still possible but we need to know if the incoming administration’s economy blueprint will support it.”

Though, Mr. Wiggle did not leave out the creation of enabling environment for the industry to thrive.

“You cannot build on nothing, we must see what is on ground before we can say this is what we can do or will do. If you don’t have a conducive environment, there is little or nothing you can really do. So we want to see what kind of environment they want to create that will support the enlightenment of insurance.”

Barrister Kunle Obijimi, Managing Director, Credo Insurance Brokers Limited, believed if the president-elect really wants to revamp the dying economy, he must concentrate on the insurance industry which according to him, “insurance is the bedrock of any nation’s economy.”

But the President of the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB), Ayodapo Shoderu, on his part challenged the president-elect,  General Muhammadu Buhari, to start giving serious thoughts to strategies for growing the nation’s economy through the provision infrastructural development and creation of jobs to enhance quality lives for Nigerians and by so doing increase their disposable income.

Shoderu, also stated that since no economy could develop without taking into cognizance the place of insurance and risk management, the in-coming government must see to it that insurance is given its pride of place in all strata of government operations.

Although, the President of the Registered Insurance Brokers did not overlook the fact that the move by President Goodluck Jonathan, to have conceded defeat even before the result was officially announced have been creating an enabling environment which is now impacting positively on the economy, given the response of market forces to the political process.

According to him “there is an inextricable link between politics and economy and whatever affected one would definitely affect the other.”

Meanwhile, Director-General of Nigerian Insurers Association, Mr. Sunday Thomas, advised General Buhari to ensure that economic growth is the main focus of his government.

The DG challenged the incoming President to come out with a blue print for the economy that will enhance the living standard of Nigerians.

Said Thomas, “We expect increased government patronage of insurance, compliance with compulsory insurances as well as insurance of government assets, as well as review of the mode of taxation on insurance services. In all, we expect the new government to build on the achievement of President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration on insurance.”

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