WELCOME STATEMENT BY THE COMMISSIONER FOR INSURANCE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA MOHAMMED KARI AT THE WEST AFRICAN INSURANCE COMPANIES ASSOCIATION (WAICA) EDUCATIONAL CONFERENCE 2016 HELD ON MONDAY 25TH APRIL, 2016 AT EKO HOTEL AND SUITE, LAGOS.
1. My slot in the program was to make a statement, however I cannot resist welcoming all once again to Nigeria and to this Conference. It is my pleasure to welcome all participants to Lagos, Nigeria for the West African Insurance Companies Association (WAICA) Educational Conference 2016.
2. WAICA conference traditionally starts on the night before the main business of the conference with a welcome cocktail. At the cocktail last night I was happy to see delegates from all countries of our sub-region and beyond. I was delighted by the evident interest in our sub-region I gathered from the few I interacted with. These interest in my opinion is a good omen of things to come. Our sub-region like all regions of the world cannot operate or survive in isolation. From the operator’s level to regulators, we need to interrelate and cooperate with each other in order to overcome challenges, and no challenge is as topical this days as the challenge of the modern economy. For this reason I see the selection of this conference’s theme as most appropriate and oracular.
3. We all know the role Insurance plays in the development of our respective economies, in terms of services and infrastructural development; it provides financial and social stability, enhances trade and commerce, offer opportunities for savings which in turn enhances the well-being of the citizenry and the nation in general.
4. Though the future of the insurance sector is hard to predict, however it can be prepared for. Insurers are faced with the challenges of new businesses, changing laws and regulation among others. Changes in regulation in my opinion is a by-product of the past financial crisis and the globalization of the world’s economy which have enmeshed nations of the world together irrespective of geographical boundaries.
5. Notwithstanding these challenges, I see enough potentials for positive growth of the insurance sectors in the West African states, given the collaborative efforts of the players, regulators and governments in the region. The potential I see are not limited to some prospective demand for insurance products but for the operator’s collective efforts to address common issues that were hitherto seen as individual’s problems.
6. Meetings like should create opportunities for operators and regulators alike, to compare and exchange notes on how each market is tackling their individual challenges, and how best to avoid others’ adverse experiences. I’ve witnessed first-hand how coming together can easily overcome previously presumed unsurmountable hurdles. I invite the delegates from our sister countries to learn from their Nigerian colleagues how the market and regulator have come together to create a development front for tackling issues. I also request the visiting delegates to share their experience with us for the same benefit.
7. The international insurance community through their respective collaborative mediums, have discussed topics similar to our theme of today. The global insurance markets is one and the same. It may only differs in magnitude but not in substance. So while deliberating we should remain conscious of other regions resolutions and ideas, thus acknowledging the age-long adage of not having to reinvent the wheel. Let me reiterate that this conference is as thoughtful as it is timely. Our overall desire is to have an industry that is knowledge driven and run in line with international best practice in our respective countries. So let us all join hands to build a stronger regional market that is capable of competing with its peers in other regions. Let us come out with resolutions and ideas that can make us the envy of Africa and the world, let us learn from each other and let us work together in order to overcome challenges confronting us, economic or otherwise.
8. Honourable Minister, Ladies and Gentlemen, my task, as I observed earlier was to make a statement, I hope what I’ve said qualifies for that. However I still cannot resist welcoming all to this conference.
9. You are welcome and thank you
Commissioner for Insurance, Nigeria