African low insurance penetration, worrisome ― Minister

The Minister of Finance, Hajia Zainab  Ahmed has lamented the very low penetration and insurance density in African countries, which she said is very worrisome

She said the average per capita spending on insurance (density) in emerging markets was 169  in 2018 and insurance penetration (premiums/GDP) was 3.2%.

The Minister made this known on Monday in Abuja at the general assembly of the Association of African Insurance Supervisory Authorities (AAISA) with the theme: ‘Index-based Agricultural Insurance’.

Ahmed who was represented by the Acting Commissioner for Insurance and Chief Executive Officer of the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), Sunday Thomas noted that in the recent Sigma report on insurance, an uptrend can be seen in most regions, except in the life sectors of emerging Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

While stating that Nigeria has in recent time incepted some initiatives to further develop and deepen her insurance market, the Minister said other initiatives include enforcement of compulsory insurances and index-based agricultural insurance.

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“One of the priority sectors in the diversification strategies of the economy from an oil-dependent economy is the Agricultural sector which has also recorded sustainable growth and development.

“It is informative to state that a veritable approach towards a healthy competitive private sector economy is the enhancement of the structure of the government-led supervisory framework.

“The United Nations projects that Nigeria’s population will double in 2050 and only a competitive private sector economy can help the country achieve a rising standard of living and economic prosperity.

“Nigeria has the capacity to modernize its economy in a way that all firms can achieve more sophisticated competitive advantages and higher productivity,” she added.

However, the Acting Commissioner for Insurance, Mr Sunday Thomas reiterated the need to ensure due consideration and adoption of the Insurance Core Principle (ICP) 26 on cross-border cooperation and coordination on crisis management.

He said Nigeria is to support bridging the capacity gap amongst members as part of the delight of the NAICOM.

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