The Federal Government will consolidate on the progress it has made in the insurance sector by ensuring that all of its assets are adequately insured, Finance Minister Mrs Kemi Adeosun has said.
She spoke yesterday at the ongoing National Insurance Conference in Abuja.
The minister said foreign investors have shown great interest in the insurance sector by entering into the market and progress can be seen in the introduction of new insurance products in the mortgage and housing sector.
She said there has also been a high level of ownership of insurable assets despite the economic situation.
Mrs Adeosun said: ?We expect that industry reforms will continue to drive investments and new market entry.
?Insurance plays a critical role in economic development by fostering economic growth and investment. It facilitates investment, by reducing the amount of capital that businesses and individuals need to keep at hand to protect themselves from uncertain events.
?While the insurance industry has evolved with premiums growing from about N75 billion in 2005 to over N300billion today,it contributes approximately 0.7per cent to GDP.
?There are currently about three million policyholders in Nigeria out of a population of 180 million people.This means that there is a lot more potential to increase the number of policyholders.
?Through insurance, relatively small premiums from millions of policy holders, can create a pool to support long-term financing for our economic growth. We must be willing to expand the insurance market beyond the upper class and formally employed market, to the middle and lower income market.
?The focus for insurance going forward, must integrate both corporate and individuals.
The uptake of insurance products could facilitate asset formation and wealth creation over the longer-term.Many individuals take out insurance to cover life, education plans for their children, endowment, and investment savings.?
In his welcome address, Commissioner for Insurance, Mohammed Kari said the theme: Nigeria Open for Business is a subject which has been used as a political statement of intent until the coming of the present administration which has turned it into a calculated strategy of governance that has made simplification of during business a reality.
He stated that if the dream to make Nigeria easy for business is to be realised, then the way financial regulation is constituted in Nigeria need an urgent review.
He pointed out that operators in most sectors are regulated by up to three and sometimes four financial regulators, with multiple requirements to each and in most cases similar and with either or options, which defeats the regulatory norm of specific oversight in financial regulation.
He said most irritating is the multiple penalties that may arise from the same infraction noting that regulators now are even venturing into other sectors, usurping the role of other regulators without due regard to the established laws.
Kari urge the Mrs Adeosun to challenge the Financial Services Regulatory Coordinating Committee (FSRCC) to revisit the Financial System Strategy 2020 (FSS 2020) and within a given time, come up with a proposal on the future of financial regulation in the country.