Insurers solicit support for industry to fast track economic growth
Operators in the insurance industry have called on government at all levels and the private sector to support the industry to play its role in carrying enormous risk in the economy.
The Group Manaing Director, Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc., Dr. Akin Ogunbiyi, in his presentation at the 12th yearly Pearl Awards public lecture for capital market development in Lagos said, in the on-going efforts to grow our economy and deliver democracy dividends to our teeming population, the insurance industry should be supported for it to fully achieve its growth enhancing potential. We should all join hands, government at all levels and the private sector should support the industry to perform its highly indispensable role in galvanizing the economy.
He said “It has been proved statistically and economically that there is significant relationship between insurance development and economic growth. Insurance provides vital support for emerging economies and helps in an indispensable manner to achieve growth targets. Also a strong and competitive insurance industry not only enhances growth, it substantially mitigates critical challenges on the path of sustainable economic development.”
According to him, insurance makes economic activities possible and contributes directly to its growth. For instance, through its risk transfer and indemnification services as well as the essentially value-adding financial intermediary services, insurance guarantees productivity improvement, production efficient enhancement and increase in investment opportunities. Also, insurance institutional monitoring benefits provide valuable administrative services to business such as risk management.
Regrettable, the Mutual boss said, Africa’s share in the global insurance market is paltry 1.5 per cent with South Africa contributing nearly 74 per cent. Insurance contributes close to 15 per cent to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) while in Nigeria, we are less than one per cent.
“Insurance plays a positive and very significant role in employment generation. The machinery of insurance through its value adding activities, generates a sustained increase in employment and income. In our determination as a country to grow the economy, we must do something that utilizes our strengths and delivers benefits to our teeming population.”
According to him, “Let us cultivate “the seeds of insurance, water them, feed them and they will blossom into wonderful achievements. Besides, Insurance penetration is the ratio between insurance premium written and gross domestic product, then let us collaborate to grow these penetration ratios in order to bring them very close to expected values.”
He explained that Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc has with its pioneering entrepreneurial value-adding initiative, and very audacious transformational effort demystified the myth that the high business of insurance can only thrive in the formal sector. With little premium, we are taking insurance to all local government areas of Nigeria. We are guaranteeing personal well being, comfort as well as investments that deliver and engender sustainable growth.
In addition, he said, through our marketing and developmental activities, we have given employment to over 5,000 Nigerian youths and about 500 others in Liberia and Niger Republic where we also have full-fledge operations. “Our strategy is to give a fillip to corporate and individual efforts and entrepreneurs as well as businessmen and women more productive and effective means to enhance and boost the wealth of the rich and at the some time help hardworking poor to completely cast-off the chains of poverty and limb the progress ladder”.
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