The Minister for Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, has said that the Nigerian Government will enforce the compulsory insurance policies and ensure that the cost of insurance is included in its expenditure.
She said this during the second edition of the National Insurance Conference in Abuja on Monday, which had in attendance chieftains from all the sectors that make up the insurance industry.
Adeosun said, “We are committed to growing a strong and resilient insurance sector, which will contribute better to the Gross Domestic Product. Government will impose insurance and I will enforce insurance in the Ministry of Finance and in everything we are doing.
“We will ensure that insurance cost is included in government expenses because it is compulsory.”
The minister observed that there were huge opportunities in the insurance sector, but that the penetration was still very low compared to the situation in some other countries.
As managers of risks, she urged the insurers to take the lead by taking more risks.
Adeosun warned underwriters to desist from discounting premium, a development that makes them to charge ridiculous rates, especially in the public sector, adding that this practice was unhealthy for the sector.
To stop the practice of charging very low rates, the minister said she was working with the insurance regulator to eliminate rate cutting and create an eligible pool that would give everyone a fair share of the government’s underwriting business.
She also stressed the need to address the annual review of brokers’ licences, adding that it was necessary to ensure the existence of the brokers in order to boost the confidence of the insuring public in them.
The Commissioner for Insurance, Alhaji Mohammed Kari, said some major achievements of the sector included improved service delivery, improved image, increased awareness, improved consultation between the regulator and the regulated, creation of national wealth and employment, and improved market penetration.
He also said that to address the medium and long-term challenges of penetration, the commission was on the verge of reintroducing the Market Development and Restructuring Initiative.
“We believe that if properly implemented, it will bring the desired result as envisaged,” Kari said.
The Chairman, Insurance Industry Consultative Forum, Mrs. Isioma Chukwuma, said the conference was intended to amplify the IICF’s cardinal objectives of creating a platform for developing and achieving a joint industry agenda and the enthronement of an intra-industry conflict resolution mechanism