James Emejo in Abuja
Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, yesterday expressed serious concerns over the low penetration and insurance density in the country and African in general.
She added that the development had remained a source of concern to several governments across the continent.
Speaking at the opening of the General Assembly of the Association of African Insurance Supervisory Authorities (AAISA), which was hosted by the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) in Abuja, the minister said many economies have been restructured to strategically recognise the potential dividends of regional cooperation and integration.
She said Nigeria would always support any framework that foster mutually beneficial ties with other countries, particularly those in the African region.
Ahmed tasked AAISA members to deploy their expertise in promoting cooperation among insurance supervisory authorities, improve human resources development and create a forum for the standardisation of insurance laws and supervisory structures in Africa.
Represented by the acting Commissioner for Insurance, Mr. Sunday Thomas, the minister noted that premium growth in Africa in 2018 remained weak, amid challenging economic conditions and a competitive environment.
She said these positions needed to be reversed as quickly as possible through collaboration with relevant regulatory authorities.
Ahmed, however, noted that in the case of Nigeria, one of the priority sectors in the diversification strategies of the economy from an oil-dependent economy remained agricultural which has recorded sustainable growth and development.
She commended the annual meeting aligning a workshop on index-based agricultural insurance which could be beneficial to the agricultural value-chain of various countries.
In his welcome remarks, the NAICOM boss said the index based agricultural insurance had become inevitable in view of the federal government’s priority to diversify the economy and boost its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as well as the national insurance for capacity to handle emerging risks.
He added that there’s no better time to endure due consideration and adoption of the Insurance Core Principle (ICP) 26 on cross-border cooperation and coordination on crisis management especially with consideration to the underlying benefits and the attendants implications of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA) on business model.