Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN, has firmly stated that the insurance sector was currently not impacting on the majority of vulnerable people in Nigeria for various reasons.
Some of the reasons include the fact that insurance companies design exorbitant policies that don’t fit the needs of the market and were out of the masses’ reach.
“Other reasons could include prompt payment or lack of it and the difficulty of claiming, as exemplified by the need for police reports and other related bureaucracy.
“It’s also as a result of cultural resistance to insurance and even a combination of all the issues.” He explained.
According to a statement signed by Special Adviser on Communication, Mr.Hakeem Bello, Mr. Fashola, who was Guest Speaker at Session Four of this year’s National Insurance Conference on Tuesday in Abuja, spoke on the “Expected Role of Insurance in Infrastructural development” as part of the overall theme of “Expanding National Resources and Infrastructure in Challenging Times”.
Fashola used the avenue to inform the Industry Practioners that insurance was a component and important part of the finance subsector. He however, expressed regrets that the industry “has probably played a second role to banking, and has not optimised the opportunities for growth, expansion and inclusion.
“The role of insurance practitioners goes beyond providing performance bonds, it include embracing health insurance that guarantees access to the healthcare facility as well as housing programmes which would provide a potential market of opportunities by way of performance bonds and mortgage insurance policies as a start.” He said.
The Minister urged practitioners to see the possibilities in insuring schools, government buildings, roads and bridges as frontiers for deepening insurance practice, adding there is also provision for compulsory insurance of existing buildings, which would curtail the incidence of building collapse.
Speaking on insurance possibilities, he asked practioners “How many markets have burned down in Nigeria in the last 10 years?
“How many homes have been ravaged by flood or fire leaving citizens without recourse except for Government intervention, because the houses or belongings such as jewelry, furniture, electronics and so on were not insured?
“How many were rebuilt from the proceeds of insurance payments?,” adding that many, if not all, of the small business owners were left without redress.
He noted that although, those petty traders may have had an insurable interest, the insurance sector seldom has policies for that category of people.
The Minister wondered if the various government or private companies have such policies, adding that Insurance Practitioners should design policies that are appropriately priced and “promptly responds to claims by the affected, in order to boost confidence in the business of insurance”.
Fashola later insisted that all the state Controllers of Works in the country take steps to demand and ensure that government contractors provide proof of compliance with the laws guiding insurance of Nigerian Workers.
He vowed to lead the campaign for compliance with the 2010 Federal Workmens’ Compensation Act by government contractors to ensure protection of their workers.
The Minister hinted that the 2010 Act repealed and replaced the 2004 legislation, making provision for insurance cover for workmen in respect of occupational disease(s) (arising out of exposure to risk factors), injuries from accidents at the workplace or in the course of employment.
He lastly hinted that work has commenced on major highways like Sokoto-Kotangora-Makera, Kano-Maiduguri, Ilorin-Jebba, Lagos-Ibadan, Loko-Oweto, Ihiala to mention a few.
There were further deliberations by discussants comprising a robust interactive session with the top insurance and allied industry practitioners in attendance.

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