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Chuks Udo Okonta
The insurance sector recorded 6.07 per cent growth in the second quarter of 2018, the Commissioner for Insurance, Mohammed Kari, has said.
He disclosed this at the 2018 Seminar for Insurance Correspondents in Abuja, adding that the sector grew by 3.49 per cent in nominal terms (year on year) with a growth rate for the financial sector at 3.01 per cent for the period.
According to him, the sector contributes 0.4 per cent to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and the total premium value for 2017 was N376 billion
Kari noted that the sector is characterized by: dearth of appropriate human capital and professional skills; poor returns on capital; too many fringe players; incidences of rate cutting; corporate governance issues; insurance premium flight; lack of innovation in product development; lack of awareness on the part of consumers on the suitability of insurance products; and low GDP per capita figures.
He posited that for the Commission to achieve its set objectives of increased insurance penetration and market development, it had to address both internal and external forces.
“To this effect, the Commission focused attention on ensuring that operators manage the relationship between the forces of innovation and competition, turning it into an engine of growth for the sector,” he said.
He maintained that the key goal of NAICOM’s financial inclusion strategy is to increase insurance penetration to 40 per cent by 2020, stressing that however, insurance penetration and density remain low.
He said NAICOM has boosted its supervisory profile, by issuing a new consumer protection policy called the “Market Conduct Guideline”, adding that the Commission is driven by the need to expand the market frontier for the insurance sector growth.