FG Woos Insurers to Invest in Infrastructural Devt

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Ebere Nwoji

The federal government has solicited the collaboration of insurance industry operators in infrastructural development in the country, just as it has said that henceforth, only contractors with prove of compliance with Workmen Compensation Act would be allowed to work in government ministries.

Workmen compensation is an insurance cover put in place by employers for their employees against injury at workplace.

The policy was in 2010 transferred to the National Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) and has currently yielded about N60billion premium according to records.

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola stated at the 2016 National Insurance Conference organised by the Insurance Industry Consultative Council ( IICC) in Abuja that insurers can contribute to the infrastructural development through investment in infrastructural projects and insurance of different stages of the projects across the country.
Fashola, who spoke on the topic “Expected Role of Insurance in Infrastructural Development”, told the insurers that infrastructure does not begin and end with road and power but also includes housing, health care among others.
He said beyond housing, insurers can go into mortgage financing insurance, which is the retail branch aspect of the business.

The minister urged the insurers to develop higher spirit of creativity and innovativeness in order to develop products that meet the present day business demand.
He said they are in position to do this because of availability of long term funds and the need for the industry to expand its horizon in investments business.

Fashola further noted there are a lot of opportunities for insurance in infrastructural development adding that in terms of risk bearing opportunity, policies on infrastructural insurance alone can only be limited by the operates’ lack of imagination and enterprising spirit.
Responding to complaints by the insurance managers on incessant poaching of insurance products by different agencies of government in recent times, Fashola urged the insurers to guard their fence jealously and pursue their right through the use of legislators.

According to him, government, on its part would play its role to ensure compliance of Nigerians to laws affecting insurance and safety of the citizens.

He said his ministry would insist and demand that contractors provide recognised prove that they have complied with the Workmen Compensation Act.
According to him, the ministry will continue to emphasise on the protection that the Act provides for work men and women in construction sites across the country.
He acknowledged that in the case of occupational diseases and work place risks, most of the promises made in the Workmen Compensation Act are not complied with in reality both in public and private sector.