The federal government on Friday gave the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) marching orders on the enforcement of compulsory insurance across Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the government. This was as it tasked both NAICOM and the Nigeria Export Import Bank (NEXIM) to develop strategies that will increase revenue for government. Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, gave these orders at two separate events in Abuja on Friday. The minister advised officials of the Commission to cooperate “with other agencies of government to enforce compulsory insurances in the country”. She gave the directive yesterday in Abuja at the commissioning of NAICOM’s portal. “Stakeholders must consciously and intentionally spread the reach of insurance from the major cities and few states to other regions of the country especially the rural areas”.
In addition, she urged NAICOM to ensure that; “low penetration in the retail end of the market must also be addressed through vigorous drive of inclusive Insurance like micro insurance.” The finance minister while lamenting the low insurance penetration of 0.88 per cent contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) challenged NAICOM to take advantage of the opportunities for growth in the insurance market. According to Ahmed; “there is a need therefore, to develop new innovative products based on data and customer preferences and introduction of new channels of distribution beyond the traditional channels to reach new segments of the market”.
Speaking specifically to the portal, the finance minister called on “NAICOM to “look into ways of increasing its revenue through the use of technology and the Portal in particular. She then urged the Commission; “to ensure the portal is connected to other government databases like the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) NIN Database, Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) Passport Database, Nigeria Integrated Customs Information system, FRSC’s National Vehicle Identification System, the National Vehicle Registry, State Licensing Databases among others in order to provide value added services to all Insurance Industry stakeholders and enhance revenue generation. “In addition, the NAICOM Portal must also serve as the central database and sole repository of all Insurance Data connected to government databases in the country.”