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Chuks Udo Okonta
Yesterday’s inauguration of the Insurers Committee has further exposed the value the federal government places on the insurance industry as dignitaries at the event who have anticipated the presence of the newly appointed Minister of Finance Mrs Kemi Adeosun were disappointed when she sent a representative.
The industry which has suffered neglect by past administrations was greeted with great expectations when it was announced that the inauguration of the committee would be performed by the minister, but the hopes were dashed when the Minister was represented by the Director, Home Finance, Federal Ministry of Finance, Kali Zaji.
The Federal Government over the years had never given the needed attention to the industry, as most of the events organised by the operators where shunned by policy makers in government.
The last administration only realized the need for insurance at the tail end of its tenure when it suddenly realized that the industry can help in job creation and make necessary contributions to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Industry observers believe in this era of change, the government should demonstrate the change it has continued to canvass by giving adequate attention to insurance which remains a major sector in the economy, and best tool for mitigation of risks.
The observers said the plights of the industry will be better understood when the government works closely with the operators. They said the era of sending representative by key government personnel to events organised by the industry should be stemmed.
They said the act of sending representatives to high profile events organised by the industry has never done the sector any good as the representatives cannot make categorical statements which can be held on.
The Commissioner for Insurance at the event said: “Government’s general attitude to insurance has to improve. There is low patronage of insurance by government and its agencies and the lack of effort to protect public assets. Even when it does, the funding is haphazard. It is common knowledge that the ability of government to replace damaged or lost asset is not as sound as it use to be as such insurance is the best alternative to no protection at all. Employees, especially our gallant forces fighting in security challenges need to have the comfort of insurance protection as they confront their duties.
“There is an apparent lack of Insurance expertise in the civil service as such government is not guided properly internally as it ventures to deal with the industry. The position of insurance is virtually non-existent in the civil service’s scheme of service, for the few insurance professionals are not placed properly to play their professional role.”