5 to 9 Insurance Questions for Nigeria at 59


Tuesday, October 1, 2019   / 11:35AM  /  By Ekerete Ola Gam-Ikon*    / Header Image Credit: ClipArtWiki.com


This year's celebration of Nigeria's Independence Anniversary, I thought, should be about critical questions which we could spend the next 12 months answering, so that at 60, Nigeria would have been the nation her citizens are most pleased with.


In my chosen area of responsibility, insurance, I have therefore prepared the following 5 to 9 questions that should swell the minds and hearts of stakeholders including President Muhammadu Buhari as he seeks to sustain the fights against insecurity, corruption and poverty.


1. Can we re-imagine the insurance industry in Nigeria as the solution to our identified national problems of insecurity, corruption and poverty? Do we recognize that there exist insecurity of age, climate, education, ethnicity, food, gender, healthcare, housing, job, transport and worshipping, which the knowledge of insurance can address sustainably?


2. How can we employ our youths to encourage the adoption of insurance knowing that it gives us the most valuable data about individual citizens needed for improved governance? Can we do Nigeria the favour of using life insurance to obtain valuable information about citizen's health and financial status?


3. If we appreciate that the true size of our insurance sub-sector could be in excess of N15 trillion with the combination of pension, health insurance, general insurance, life, reinsurance and takaful, why can we not have it that way as in some advanced economies where the insurance sector acts as a potent tool for economic growth?


4. How long shall we continue to expect positive contribution from the insurance industry when it relies on old and archaic laws that are even "digitally exclusive"? Are we aware that the law on which basis today's insurers issue Motor Insurance Certificates is still the 1945 Motor Traffic Regulation? Will the NAICOM Act 1997 and Insurance Act 2003 ever be amended?


5. Should we not have insurance and risk management as part of the orientation programme for appointees of government and lawmakers across the country with a view to ensuring that we are consciously protecting our wealth as they take discussions and decisions?


6. Will the Head of the insurance regulatory body, National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) ever qualify to be a member of the National Economic Management Team or work with any group of professionals designated to discuss and advise governments on the direction of the economy?


7. Will any consideration be given for the insurance of electorates, political office aspirants and political parties just as staff of the Independent National Elections Commission (INEC) possibly in the amended Electoral Act to protect them against violence and deaths before, during and after elections? Do we have to wait until we have a damning situation before we act?


8. Should we not be interested in the exact population of Nigerians that have National ID also having insurance cover to ensure the protection of our wealth (our people)? Can we hope to have an active workforce while most of our working population cannot readily return to work when they are ill or involved in accidents due to lack of financial capabilities (insurance)?


9. What happened to the recent effort at rebranding the insurance industry in Nigeria? Is it because it did not enjoy the visible endorsement of the government that its campaign seems to have suffered a setback? Or will getting the President to launch the insurance programme for beneficiaries of the Social Investment Programme and subsequently paying them their claims when due be more impacting?


When we attempt to answer these questions as Nigeria celebrates 59, we can expect an enjoyable 60th anniversary.


I pray we do not lament in future because we did not amend our laws and embrace new solutions.


Insurance is the assurance that you cannot lose! This is our thinking statement, you too can think on it.



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* About The Author

Ekerete Olawoye Gam-Ikon, MNIM, CPP is a management consultant with specialization in Strategy and Insurance. He can be reached vide telephone on +234-806-648-1111 and +234-802-585-0344 or by e-mail vide olagamola@gmail.com



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