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Chuks Udo Okonta
Having successfully licensed two wholly Takaful companies, the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) says more will soon be established as it is presently processing applications submitted by some investors.
The Commissioner for Insurance Mohammed Kari, who disclosed this yesterday at the launch of the Kano branch of Jaiz Takaful, said the Commission introduced Takaful and Microinsurance products in the Country as an attempt to reach the segment of the market that is either hitherto reached or not comfortable with the conventional insurance products, stressing that so far, two wholly Takaful companies have been licensed to operate by the Commission while the processing of other applications is on-going.
Kari urged the people of Kano to embrace Takaful for their protection against risks, adding that Takaful is both ethical financing and cooperative risk protection methods that are superior alternatives, because they reinvigorate human capital, human solidarity, emphasize dignity, community self-help and economic self-development, generating manifold benefits which appeal not only to Muslims but all.
“The Commission is elated at this positive development which is a bold step towards the growth and development of the Takaful market in Nigeria. As we all may already be aware, Kano is the commercial hub of northern Nigeria with a massive population that is financially excluded and in particular, largely uninsured. Your choice of Kano for a branch office is therefore not a mistake but a good business decision that must be applauded,” he said.
He noted that the development of Takaful operations in Nigeria could not have been achieved without the provision of an enabling framework for its takeoff, stressing that the Commission in collaboration with development partners such as Enhancing Financial Innovation & Access (Efina) and GIZ developed and released the Takaful Insurance Guidelines in November, 2013 to enable smooth operation.
“Consequently, in March, 2015 the Commission inaugurated the Takaful Advisory Council of Experts (ACE) saddled with the responsibility of review, endorsement of policies and guidelines related to the principles underpinning Takaful insurance operation. The ACE is made up of eminent scholars with deep knowledge of Islam and Sharia,” he said.