‘Insurance penetration in Nigeria less than one per cent’
•Firm’s chief wants government to increase on compulsory insurance
Non-Executive Director and Interim Chairman, Board of Directors, African Alliance Insurance Plc, Anthony Okocha, has said the sector’s penetration in Nigeria has remained on a very low level.
According to him, despite the different products and strategies introduced in the insurance industry over the years, growth in the sector has remained lower than one per cent compared to other African countries. Okocha said this at the launch of African Alliance Insurance Plc’s new corporate brand identity, which held in Lagos recently.
He said: “Nigeria’s insurance sector is performing poorly when compared to other African countries like Ghana, our neighbour, and South Africa. Ghana is running at 2.5 per cent, South Africa is closing up to about 14 per cent, while we are at less than one per cent in Nigeria.”
He however noted that the drive to grow the insurance industry by increasing its contribution to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is a collective responsibility of both the government and all companies in the sector.
He said: “The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), is spearheading the drive, and all other companies are trying to do what we are doing in African Alliance, which is to awaken public consciousness as to the need for insurance in Nigeria.
“The government also has lot of roles to play. There is what is called compulsory insurance. When you go to any civilized country in the world, there are several classes of insurance that are compulsory but we only have a few in Nigeria.“Those types of insurance are what government needs to put in place. There is one for instance, called construction insurance which is also supposed to be compulsory but most times, people are not even aware of this.”
He maintained that the government must do its part in composing and implementing enabling laws for the insurance industry to thrive, saying it’s the only way the nation can deepen inclusion in the sector.He noted that although the insurance products have remained the same over years, the manner of underwriting risks has continued to change, adding that 60 years ago, there were no technologies like we have today.
“Today, you may sit at home and buy policies without even knowing where the insurance company is located, and the impact of technology today is not what it used to be, and we should maximise that,” he added.In her remarks, Managing Director, African Alliance Insurance Plc, Funmi Omo, said the underwriter is set to increase awareness on insurance products, and would redeploy strategies to gain traction to youth.”
“The whole idea is to use strategies to deepen penetration in the industry, and we are sure that we would deepen penetration particularly with the youths and we intend to sustain it,” she added.
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