Director-General, Nigeria Insurers’ Association NIA, Mr. Sunday Thomas, has called on the Federal Government to ensure stability in the foreign exchange market to improve Nigeria’s image on African insurance map.
The Director-General told the News Agency of Nigeria NAN in Lagos on Monday that instability in the exchange rate was making investors unsafe to devote their resources in the industry.
He stressed that the pressure would make many foreigners unsafe in the equity market.
“There is great pressure on Naira as many foreigners feel unsafe in our equity market; many of them divest and take out their money.
“At the level of a common man, the devalued Naira will reduce the disposable income of Nigerians further precluding them to care less about taking insurance,” he said.
Thomas further said that the foreign exchange instability was one of the major reasons that Nigeria’s image on Africa insurance map was low due to exchange rate problem.
According to him, the country ranks fourth position on African Insurance Map, overtaken by South Africa SA, Morocco and Egypt.
“This means the country’s Insurance industry has dropped from being the second biggest in Africa to fourth, falling behind South Africa, Morocco and Egypt, ’’ he said.
He said that according to Swiss Re Sigma world Insurance 2014 report, Nigeria Insurance Premium stands at 1.79 billion dollars while S.A Premiums hit 46.19 billion dollars.
Speaking further, he urged Finance Minister, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, to give pre-eminence to the country’s insurance Industry because its full potentials were still untapped.
He urged the minister to look into the problem of non-payment of premium, insurance of government assets, the Group Life Insurance Policy GLIP, for government workers.
He appealed that the micro economic variables should be managed well, such that citizens have more money in their pockets and help in fast-tracking the passage of the insurance law.
“We also want her to look into marine business as she is also responsible for supervision of the Nigeria Custom Service.
“We are experiencing huge gap in the area of marine insurance as Section 67 of the Insurance Act, 2003 makes insurance of imports compulsory.
“Any import must be insured with company domiciled in Nigeria and we hope that she will make sure that all goods that come into this country carry the genuine cover.
“We as insurers expect that not only will the issue of asset acquisition be uppermost in her agenda.
“ We also want asset maintenance and the deployment of insurance as a mechanism for maintenance of state assets’’, Thomas said.
The Director-General said that if all the mechanisms could be done, things could turn around for good for Nigeria’s economy.
He urged stakeholders in the insurance sector in Nigeria not to lose focus of occupying the front position of the financial sector of the country.
He urged insurers to improve on their door to door campaign to increase insurance awareness in the country.
“This enlightenment and campaign would shoot the Gross Premium Written GPW of the Industry from its N302.10 billion recorded in first quarter of 2015

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