Experts in the insurance sector have condemned the stunted growth of the industry in Nigeria, warning that urgent measures must be taken by the government to educate and enlighten the people on several advantages that a robust insurance sector has for the growth of a nation’s economy.
According to them, “It is disheartening that as of today, data obtained from the National Insurance Commission [NAICOM] indicates that just a little over 5,000 public buildings have so far been insured across the country which is very well insignificant compared to several public buildings in Nigeria.
“The concerns have become necessary owing to the frequent cases of fire disaster as well as increasing cases of building collapse across the country.”
The stakeholders attributed the development to a lack of proper interaction between the sector and government agencies.
Speaking in Abuja, an Insurance Broker, Obiora Bonaventure said the major problems could be attributed to poor knowledge and implementation of insurance policies by the government and practitioners.
Bonaventure who is the Managing Director to Arizonal Insurance Brokers Ltd said another major problem facing the industry is the inability of insurance companies to pay claims.
“Today, we have practitioners who do not have the practical knowledge of the industry, many of them are just chasing money without grasping the various insurance laws and their applications, hence many of them find it difficult to pay claims to the customers. This also goes a long way to scare customers off in taking premium, but I can assure you that if you arrange your insurance policy well, there are well-known insurance companies that are ready to pay claims”, he said.
On the several benefits of insurance, Bonaventure explained that apart from creating jobs for the people, governments at all levels will benefit maximally if organizations, governments and individuals embrace insurance.
“More money will come to the government as tax, the burden of burnt houses, collapsed buildings will be less on the victims’’, he added.
In his recent comments, the Head of Media/Communications Department of the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), Rasaq Salami confirmed that there are a little more than 5,000 public buildings insured under the Insurance Act 2003 in Nigeria and that more than 70 percent of the figures are from Lagos State .
According to Salami, ‘’This is one of the reasons, NAICOM is engaging the state governments and the fire service as well as other relevant agencies to implement and enforce the public building liability, I can assure you that the commission is making progress in this direction especially, in creating awareness on the benefits in the consumption of these insurance products’’.
Also contributing, the Chief consultant of B Adedipe Associates Limited, Dr. Biodun Adedipe said for the insurance sector to grow, government needs to be responsible to its insurance obligations which talks about paying premium, adding that there also must be need for flexibility while ensuring that compulsory insurance is enforced because enforcement had always been an issue.