“Insurance will provide MSMEs shock absorber to withstand risks when they occur”, says NAICOM boss

The Commissioner for Insurance and Chief Executive National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), Olorundare Sunday Thomas, has assured the MSMEs sector that insurance will provide the shock absorber to withstand any unforeseen calamities when they do occur during the course of operation.

Addressing over300 delegates of MSMEs members in the fourth leg of sensitization workshop on the benefits of insurance, organized by the Commission, said the good thing of our message to the MSMEs is that insurance will provide the shock absorber to withstand any unforeseen calamities when they do occur and help their reinstatement in business.

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According to him, NAICOM is committed to our mandate of providing diligent oversight to the insurance sector towards ensuring prompt settlement of genuine claims when insured events occurs. I dare say that the MSMEs sector is too important to be neglected as it is key to economic development of the nation and this must be guided and protected against failure.”

The encouraging responses , he said, indicate that the products meet a critical need also that the appetite for players in the MSMEs sector to succeed sustainably is high.

L-R Workshop: Mrs Abimbola Tiamiyu, DG CIIN, Dr. Rabiu Olowo, Lagos State Commissioner for Finance; Hon Rep Darlington Nwokocha, Chairman House Committee on Insurance and Actuarial Matters; CFI Mr. Sunday Thomas,; Permanent Secretary Ministry of Finance Mrs Ayoola Oyeyemi; NIA DG, Mrs Yetunde Ilori and Deputy CFI Sabiu Bello Abubarkar at the Sensitisation workshop in Lagos today.

The workshop which attracted representatives from all arms of the insurance industry including the Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA), the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB), the Chartered Insurance Institute if Nigeria (CIIN), National Association of Insurance Agents, the NAICOM boss said “To ensure that you are properly guided, let me inform you that we have ,59 insurance companies, 510 insurance brokers, four micro- insurance companies four Takaful companies licensed by NAICOM to operate. Be free to approach any of them for an appropriate and adequate insurance policy that meets your needs.

Thomas, however, regretted “Notwithstanding the importance of insurance to lives and property, adoption and penetration have been low in Nigeria owing largely to a lot of challenges principally which may be inadequate product offerings that meet the needs of consumers including the MSMEs. Consequently, the Micro-insurance and Takaful are two insurance offerings carefully designed for affordability and inclusiveness to bring insurance within the reach of one of the nation’s most valued contributors to the economy – the MSMEs. This will support the sector for speedy recovery when unforeseen situations occur. This NAICOM have undertaken to educate and drive enrolment for those products through the sensitization workshop .

According to him, the workshop has so far meet at three cities in Nigeria – Kano, Kaduna and Abuja pulling MSMEs from these cities and their environs.

At these locations, we received overwhelming responses in terms of attendance, engagement and enrolment. The stage attendance per location have been 1000 MSMEs.

However, Thomas said, due to the prevailing pandemic and the need to adhere to protocols, the number allowed in the hall today is restricted to 300 MSMEs. Lagos State ,he said, is a key stop for us for obvious reasons. First, Lagos is the nerve centre for commerce, the state has the single largest number of MSMEs in the country, put at 11.5 per cent of total (NBS 2019). Secondly, and most importantly the current and past administration in the state have demonstrated a continuous commitment to sustain MSME growth.

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