NIA Chairman’s speech at Microinsurance fair

I welcome everyone to this conference/fair which is our first ever on Micro Insurance.

Let me first acknowledge the presence of our own Commissioner of Insurance Alh Mohammadu Kari. Thank you for coming all the way from Abuja. Your presence here today signifies your commitment to the micro insurance sector of our industry. I humbly welcome the Permanent Secretary in the Lagos State Ministry of Commerce and Industry. We are having this in your state and we thank you for honouring our invitation. This program, hopefully will mark the beginning of stability and growth for many businesses

I welcome all our special guest, our potential customers for whom this conference had been organised. I welcome the, market women, traders, artisans who have honoured our invitation. NGO’s who believe in insurance as a viable tool for mitigating losses among the less privileged, you are most welcomed.

I welcome every one of you to this conference/fair which is our first ever on Micro Insurance subsector. It is also our first deliberate effort as NIA to reach out to the informal sector of our economy.

The Insurance industry regulator, NAICOM, has sets out the the framework, road map, market and regulatory strategic directions for the operation of micro insurance in Nigeria.This conference is put together by the Micro Insurance committee of the Nigeria’s Insurers Association as a followup to that decision. Our aim is to bring together all stakeholders concerned with micro insurance in Nigeria with the overall objective of ensuring that both the demand side and the supply side of micro insurance are in sync together.

This conference is also meant to create awareness for our member’s micro insurance products for informal sector of the economy.

It is common knowledge that insurance culture is very low among the informal sector and it would take delibrate effort like this to win the confidence of this sector. The country diagnostic study says less than 1% of the adult population in Nigeria have access to a (voluntary) insurance policy. Nigeria is among the least countries in terms of insurance contribution to GDP which is around 0.72%. The Nigerian insurance sector is regarded as “a glossly untapped opportunity” because we have not yet appealed to the informal sector which constitute over 80% of our population.

For the NIA, the obvious way forward is to through closer interraction with this sector, intensive capacity building and greater expertise in microinsurance, providing unique micro insurance services, development of people friendly products, and improved innovative distributive system.

Micro insurance is targeted at the informal sector and the low income masses. It is the most veritable too for mitigating losses from unexpected accidents and disasters. Low income groups are invariably exposed to innumerable risks. Micro insurance works on the phenomenon of risk transfer mechanism characterized by low premiums and low coverage limits.

As an industry we will continually seek for opportunities to court the friendship of this sector. For us the future of our industry most probably lies in what we do with this sector and how they the sector accepts our products and services. We are optimistic that the relationship we are starting today will continue to blossom and get stronger.

To my friends from the informal sector, I encourage you to interact with insurers during this conference and share your experiences with them. Let us know your challenges and areas you need insurance intervention. This experience will help us develop better products and services for you.
I welcome you all and wish you a wonderful time together.


Nigerian Insurers Association
Sunday Thomas

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