‘Two million farmers have agric cover’
ABOUT two million Nigerian farmers have adequately insured their agricultural operations and outputs.
The Managing Director and Chief Executive, Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation (NAIC), Bode Opadokun said the corporation was introducing measures to increase the number of farmers to five million by the end of the current financial period.
He said, “We plan to increase the number of insured farmers from the current two million to as high as five million at the end of 2015 financial period.”
Some losses, he said, are peculiar to farmers that hinder their production, prompting the Federal Government to establish the Nigerian Agriculture Insurance Scheme in 1987.
According to him, the scheme was later incorporated in 1988 and it became the Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation by the enabling Act 37 of 1993, with the main aim of providing insurance cover for farmers.
Some of the objectives of NAIC include making investment in agriculture more attractive through efficient risk management and prompt claims payment, and enhancing the adoption of improved farming practices to boost total agricultural production.
The Chairman of the Corporation, Lady Chioma Ohakim, speaking recently at the commissioning the Lagos Regional Office said “Agriculture is fast becoming a veritable alternative to oil and on the verge of reclaiming its rightful position as a major source of national revenue, given the current fall of oil prices at the international market and the attendant consequences on the national budget and the socio-economic wellbeing of Nigerians.
Agricultural insurance, piloted and enhanced by NAIC in Nigeria, is a genuine instrument for agricultural resilience – an antidote to the effect of bad weather, natural disasters, diseases and a whole lot of adverse incidents that pose serious risks for farmers, whose livelihood depend on natural resource base, she said.
According to her, the need therefore arises that all efforts that would enhance national agricultural output as envisioned by President Jonathan through the ministry of agriculture and rural development.
She said “To achieve the objective of the corporation, the board have restructured the operation of the corporation so as to enhance customer service and improved turn around time; rebranding and improved visibility of the corporation; increased market penetration, leading to increase in premium income; staff training and development as well as improved staff welfare; deployment of ICT in the corporation; creation of succession plan for senior and middle management levels; improved corporate governance.
She said, “To every discerning mind, visibility is a key issue in business management; It is when a business entity is visible to potential clients that such business can add value, derive income and grow to desired stature. Given the prime position of Lagos as the economic capital of Nigeria, therefore, it is imperative that the corporation maintain a highly visible corporate presence in the city.
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