BY NKECHI NAECHE(ABUJA)–The Chairman of Zenith Bank Group, Jim Ovia, on Monday called on the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) to work closely with the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to ensure the deployment of micro insurance through mobile technology.
Speaking at the ongoing 2018 National Insurance Conference, with the theme: Insurance Industry & Financial Inclusion, in Abuja, Ovia said that with the deployment of microinsurance through digital technology, insurance can contribute up to 12.5 per cent to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2025.
He noted that the micro insurance cannot be deployed successfully using the conventional method, adding that the only system which have been tested and trusted is the mobile technology.
According to him insuring life will take about 40years if the old method of deploying insurance is used, but with mobile technology 12.5 percent contribution to the nation’s GDP can be achieved.
He further said that to achieve 80 percent target of financial inclusion by 2020 financial experts should be more innovative and creative in their business.
The Zenith Bank Chairman was of the view that insurance remains one of the best tools to break the circle of poverty and I’ll-health in the country.
In a welcome address, athe Commissioner for Insurance, Mohammed Kari, said the insurance sector plays a vital role, as it helps to reduce the poverty line, helps entities and individuals manage their risks and protects them from negative adverse effects of unforeseeable events.
“In 2012, Nigeria launched the National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) to reduce the percentage of adults that are excluded from financial services from 46.3 per cent in 2010 to 20 per cent in 2020. The strategic goals are driven by a broad range of coordinated interventions, including simplified Know Your Customer (KYC) regulations, Agent banking, Microinsurance and Consumer Protection principles.”
Speaking on the theme of the conference he said:” NAICOM did focus on two objectives namely: Insurance awareness campaign for the financially excluded and promoting the development of products and business models that meet the needs of the these excluded groups.
“In the area of Microinsurance, NAICOM has been working with Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit Gmbh, GIZ of Germany and our own Enhancing Financial Innovation & Access (EFInA). The relationship with these two bodies have culminated in a well-documented diagnostic study of the Nigerian market, several seminars, workshops and trainings on Microinsurance for both operators and staff of NAICOM and the industry at large.
“In December 2017, the Commission went a step further and invited the Toronto Center, Canada to conduct a training session in Abuja for insurance operators and regulators in the West- African Sub-Region.”
He restated that financial inclusion, is collective responsibility of all, whilst calling on stakeholders to support the collective drive of the insurance sector as the regulator forges ahead in creating an enabling and sustainable environment for insurance penetration and increasing access to financial services and products.
Speaking further, the chairman of the event, Ayodele Olalekan Teriba, said people have to first sort out other pressing needs before thinking of insurance.
According to him is only a population that have a means of income that can buy into insurance.
The chairman who is also the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Economic Associates was of the opinion that is only an individual that has a monthly income that can afford to buy insurance.
He said a country where its population is absolutely poor it will be difficult for the citizens to think of insurance.