As insurance business in Nigeria continues to suffer low penetration, one of the frontline practitioners, has traced the root cause to non-enforcement of various compulsory insurances nationwide.
According to the Managing Director, Anchor Insurance Plc, Mayowa Adeduro, the regulator, National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), must collaborate with state government to ensure insurance services get to all nooks and crannies of Nigeria.
Adeduro, who spoke passionately about the low contribution of the industry to the economy, pointed out that those compulsory insurances were designed
to assist Nigerians in risk mitigation.
He, therefore, called for their quick and full implementation as well as proper enforcement to ensure sanity in the country.
He said: “The regulator should look at how the industry will collaborate to address the issue of uninsured Nigerians especially in the area of compulsory insurances because those compulsory insurances have been packaged in such a way that you don’t use your own activity to affect third party.
“Good you are running a business, and your business is such that somebody will come and eat your food and develop stomach upset or food poisoning and go to treat himself and spend a lot of money, somebody sleeps in your hotel and was attacked in that hotel or the hotel collapses or enters your building, you put up a high price and that building collapses or somebody rented your apartment and the apartment collapses, these are liabilities we should not allow people to suffer.
“Because otherwise people will just put up bad structured houses, bad hotels and bad restaurants and get away with their liabilities.
“These are the things we need to collaborate as an industry and come up on how we can enforce these insurances. Are we collaborating with the state governments, are we making sure that these people are not getting things done?”
He likened compulsory insurances to banking industry’s Bank Verification Number (BVN), without which, one cannot embark on any transaction with any bank in Nigeria.
“Even banks cannot transact with you without BVN, how do they come about it, you can’t do any contract with the government without showing tax or your pension. You have to know that there are certain things you can’t do without.
“You put your car on the road in UK without insurance, it is impossible, they will track you down, in fact they will jail you.
“So we must get to that level where we implement our insurance like that. I was reading of recent when Ghana said they were going to insure one million fishermen, its not a joke, they must have put framework in place to say all fishermen; you must be in cooperative, you do your insurance.
“In Rwanda, all farmers are insured and in Turkey as well. So that they will be able to pay succor to them when needs arise,” he added.
He described insurance as a social security, which is capable of taking away burden from the government.
According to him, “insurance is a social security net, beyond the issue of profitability, it is social security net that takes away burden from the government. How can we have a whole market burnt down by fire and next thing, people are running to the government, come and rebuild the market when
there would have been insurance on it. How suddenly we have potholes on our roads and we have somebody that have maintenance contract to maintain these roads.”
Calling for a better way of doing business, Adeduro lamented that insurance business in the country was indeed weighed down by a lot challenges.
“These are the challenges we are facing and when I look at how we have practiced insurance in Nigeria, we don’t have a means of doing things better than this. We should collaborate and think of how to do it better,” he sai