By Philip Clement, Abuja
The National Insurance Commission and Star Sapphire Foundation have sensitized Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) start-ups in Kano state were enlightened on how take full advantage of Micro Insurance and ‘Takaful’, which is the the Islamic version.
The two-day workshop, which had as its theme: ‘National Workshop on Micro Insurance and Takaful’, was organized as a collaboration between the two organizations, and declared open by Mr. Sunday Thomas, NAICOM’s commissioner for Insurance.
Thomas noted that MSMEs were important to employment and economic growth of Nigeria, contributing 48 per cent of national Gross Domestic Product (GDP) 96, per cent of businesses and 84 per cent of employment.
He said that Nigeria has over 37.7 million MSMEs, according to the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, and that for this reason, they could not simply be ignored, especially at a time when the government is looking for ways to address the twin problems of poverty and unemployment.
Also speaking, the Head of Micro Insurance unit of NAICOM, Hajiya Aisha Bashir said the main objective of the workshop was to enlighten start-ups on the need to have Micro Insurance.
She, however, noted that a key lesson learnt from the workshop was that although MSME operators in the state want Micro Insurance, but preferred Takaful, being interest-free and compliant with their religious beliefs.
Bashir also stated that the awareness created at the workshop had prompted NAICOM to boost its awareness creation efforts and, would create micro Takaful insurance in order to pave way for MSMEs in Kano to benefit.
In his remarks, Alhassan Haruna, a Board Member of Star Sapphire said Kano has the highest number of MSMEs in the country, saying out of the 13 million population in the State, over eight million were engaged in businesses.
He said the workshop was organized to enlighten the small scale business owners about micro insurance, saying, “that was what informed the decision to start the sensitization campaign from Kano.
“A lot of business organizations have been invited in a bid to be enlightened on micro insurance because of the belief that most Muslims did not believe in the insurance, for religious reasons.
“But now Islamic scholars have raised awareness. People have now started to understand insurance’’, he said