BY NKECHI NAECHE(ABUJA)—In a bid to deepen financial inclusion in the country, the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has announced plan to launch the Nigerian Insurance Industry Development Plan (NIIDP).
The Commissioner for Insurance (CFI) in Nigeria, Alhaji Mohammed Kari, disclosed the plan on at the opening ceremony of the 2018 National Insurance Conference in Abuja.
He said that the NIIDP would have financial inclusion as a major component which the country’s insurance industry would use to reduce the number of citizens that were financially excluded by developing friendly premium policies.
“It was Christine Lagarde the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) at the 2014 International Forum for Financial Inclusion held in Mexico, who said “the poor do not have access to basic financial services such as payments savings and insurance.
“Accessing financial services will help families increase investments and consumption, help in insuring against unfavorable events, thus reducing the poverty level during any occurrence,” he said.
Kari said the loophole discovered by Lagarde had made Nigeria to launch the National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) to reduce the percentage of adults that were excluded from financial services from 46.3 per cent to 20 per cent by 2020.
The CFI said that work had been concluded on the plan with inputs from KPMG, a consulting firm, which would independently monitor its implementation to ensure each insurance arm is assigned responsibilities.
“It may interest you to know that the plan has been presented to the Insurers Committee, a body comprising management of NAICOM, Chief Executuve Officers (CEO’s) of insurance companies.”
He said that heads of insurance trade associations would be included to ensure that every player in the industry would be on the same page with NAICOM, the regulator.
“I use this medium to commend insurance committee and KPMG for the good job on the NIIDP.
“As we may be aware, financial inclusion is premised on the principles of equity like social cohesion and bridging the gap in income equality and inclusive economic growth and development. ” Kari said.
Kari said that the NIIDP would have global objective which would have different dimensions with countries and institutions willing to develop models to suit their peculiar environment.
“However, the insurance sector in Nigeria would effectively and efficiently navigate it to increase the number of policyholders while reducing the figure of the financially excluded, which are part of what the NIIDP contain.” he said.