The Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, has revealed that only three million out of 180 million Nigerians possessed insurance policies to protect themselves from uncertainties.
Adeosun, who made the disclosure at the ongoing 2017 National Insurance Conference in Abuja, noted that insurance was playing critical roles in the economy.
Represented by Alhaji Mammud Dutse, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Adeosun said that insurance was facilitating investments by reducing the amount of capital and savings needed by individuals, corporations and agencies to fight unforeseen losses.
She said that total insurance premiums grew from N75bn in 2005 to over N300bn in 2016 and contributed approximately 0.7 per cent to the Gross Domestic Product, adding that the figure was less than the African average of 3.3 per cent and the global average of seven per cent.
The 2017 event would be the third since the conception of the Insurance Industry Consultative Council in 2015.
IICC is an amalgamation of all the constituent arms of the insurance industry, which includes the Nigerian Insurers Association, Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers and Institute of Loss Adjusters of Nigeria.
The minister lamented that the insurance industry was facing the challenge of low-level penetration.
“This means insurance from writing more premiums from millions of Nigerians can provide finance for our long-term economic growth for the country’s recovery.’’
She said that practitioners must be willing to do more to make insurance a giant industry to look up to, adding that distribution channels must be innovative and that new products should be developed to attract the populace.
She further argued that to achieve conclusive growth, insurance must be deployed to rural areas. “Deepening insurance penetration to the rural areas must include, improving technical capacity to meet the emerging market trends.
“The best way to promote insurance is to incorporate both individuals and corporate entities into the insurance market,’’ Adeosun said.
The minister said that the Federal Government would ensure that its economic reforms supported the growth of the insurance industry, adding that many foreign investors had indicated interest to invest in the sector.
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