Mr Olorundare Sunday Thomas, Commissioner for Insurance/CEO, (CFI) National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) disclosed this during his welcome address at the Sensitization Workshop On Insurance For MSMEs and Stakeholders today on August 5th, 2021 at Alausa, Lagos
Commissioner for Insurance further noted that consequently, the MicroInsurance and Takaful are two insurance offerings carefully designed for affordability and inclusiveness to bring Insurance within the reach of one of the nations most valued contributors to the economy-the MSMEs. According to him this will support the sector for speedy recovery when unforeseen situations occur. Thus, NAICOM have undertaken to educate and drive enrollment for these products through this sensitization workshop, he added.
NAICOM Bosss revealed that this workshop meant to educate and enlighten the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) on the benefits of insurance and that the importance of MSMEs to national development cannot be overstated. It is indeed the fulcrum of a nation’s growth and development, he stressed.
CFI pointed out that MSMEs form the superstructure to stimulate mass enterprise growth and serve as a source of livelihood for the base of the pyramid population across all economies be it underdeveloped, emerging or frontier markets.
In Nigeria, he noted that all development interventions of the current administration have had components focused on enabling these MSMEs sprout and flourish but unfortunately, with little or no insurance content to deal with associated risks and ensure sustainability and guarding them against failure.
Mr Thomas cited the National Bureau of Statistics, says Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Nigeria have contributed about 48% – on average – to the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the last five years from a total of about 17.4 million enterprises (NBS 2019). They account for about 50% of industrial jobs and nearly 90% of activities in the manufacturing sector.
“The workshop has so far made stops at three cities in Nigeria; Kano, Kaduna and Abuja pulling MSMEs from these cities and their environs. At all locations, we received overwhelming responses in terms of attendance, engagement and enrollment. The average attendance per location have been over 1000 MSMEs. However, due to the prevailing pandemic and the need to adhere to the protocols, the number allowed in the hall today is restricted to 300 MSMEs.
Group of photo during the Sensitization Workshop On Insurance For MSMEs and Stakeholders today on August 5th, 2021 at Alausa, Lagos
“Lagos state is a key stop for us for obvious reasons; first, Lagos has been Nigeria’s nerve center of commerce, the State hosts the single largest number of, MSMEs in the country, put at 11.5% of total, (NBS 2019)
“Secondly, and more important, the current and past administrations of this state have demonstrated a continuous commitment to sustaining MSME growth.
Specifically, he said the constellation of deliberate polices, special programmes and projects, in collaboration with various agencies to boost capacity, access credit, enable trade are all commendable. Some of the State efforts that readily comes to mind and which have been supportive to the Federal Government efforts are:
- The Lagos State MSMEs Exclusive Fairs
- The N220 billion Micro and Medium Enterprises Development Fund (MSMEDF) to cushion the impact of COVID 19,
iii. Other State intervention programs
“All of these efforts represent to us both the will and action to engender MSME growth.”
It is with this assurance that we have anticipated and prepared, that we shall record much more significant outcomes here with this workshop. According to him, the level of vulnerability of MSMEs to extinction by likely disasters – both natural and man-made is very high; we all witnessed the destruction of life and property during the #EndSars protest which may have killed some MSMEs and driven some persons further down the poverty line. The good thing which is our message to you today is that insurance will provide you the shock-absorber to withstand any of these unforeseen calamities when they do occur and help your reinstatement in business.
The NAICOM Boss reassured the all stakeholders that the Commission is committed to its mandate of providing diligent oversight to the insurance sector towards ensuring prompt settlement of genuine claims when insured event 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 thus, must be guided and protected against failure. The encouraging responses validate that the products meet a critical need also that the appetite for players in the MSMEs sector to succeed sustainably is high.
He reiterated that this workshop is designed for better informed and enlighten on the numerous benefits inherent in the consumption of insurance products. He urged all participants to take the necessary steps to get yourself, properties and business adequately covered by reaching out to a broker or an insurance company for your insurance needs.