Stories by Chris Ebong, asst. Bus. Editor
STAKEHOLDERS IN THE INDUSTRY RECENTLY CONVERGED FOR the investiture of the 18th president of the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB), Mr. Emmanuel Okunoren, have urged insurance practitioners and operators to intensify insurance education in the country.
Available statistics shows that Insurance, generally in Nigeria is currently at its low ebb with penetration rate of about three per cent, less than one per cent of its contribution to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and insurance policy holders of less than one million in a country with about 42.3million working population, according to statistics.
At the event which was a roll call of who is who in the society including governors the three South WesternStates of Lagos, Oyo and Ogun states who were ably represented, royal fathers among others, the issue of insurance education was top in every discourse.
The stakeholders attributed the low penetration of insurance in Nigeria to poor education of the masses on its benefits, adding that educating the public, especially those with poor education on benefits of having insurance would change the tide.
Represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Adegbuyi Onikoyi, the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, said that disasters and tragedies are not discriminator, noting that the effect could only reduce when more people imbibe the culture of insurance for the properties and lives.
He contended that the existing insurance policies are outdated, adding that the development calls for change of orientation, massive insurance education and enlightenment.
“To ensure that more people embrace insurance culture, there is need for the insurance industry to consider making the process more people friendly and less cumbersome for majority of the public that are not highly educated.”
The Governor also harpped on the need the informal sector be educated on the importance, stressing that insurance process should be made less cumbersome for people, especially the less educated in the society.
“Educate the informal sector on the need for insurance and make insurance processes less cumbersom, especially for the less educated. This is the only way insurance penetration can improve”, Ambode said.
He tasks the new leadership of the council to take the issue of education and enlightenment serious especially the informal sector that is more vulnerable to disasters and losses in the process of doing business.
In engaging the brokers, the state is guided by the need to promote professionalism hence they have kept with only registered members of the industry, he went on.
He also said that Lagos state government’s relationship with the NCRIB over years, lead to the engagement of more than 200 registered brokers annually , to form the consortium of Insurance brokers who handles all the policies of the state government .
In engaging the brokers, he said the state is guided, hence they have kept with only registered members of the industry.
Ogun state governor, Senator Ibikun Amosun, who was represented by his deputy, Mrs. Yetunde Onanuga, added his voice to insurance education, imploring insurers to embark on mass insurance education to drive home issues of insurance in the society.
While pointing out that many Nigerian citizens were not aware of the benefits of insurance,she enjoined practitioners to intensify efforts to educate the insuring publics.
The chairman of the occasion, Dr. Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi, highlighted tips for insurance appreciation among the populace, remarking thus, “ Insurance is not an insurance until it is marketed. Education on insurance product and insurance education should be a continuous practice”.
He oadvised that to reduce the spate of charlatans in the industry, machinery for quality control should be put in place while nobility should also be brought into the profession.
Adelusi-Adeluyi asserted that insurance should be driven by