By Tony Obiechina, Abuja
The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) is partnering with a non-governmental organisation (NGO) – Star Sapphire Foundation, to educate Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) on the need for micro insurance.
NAICOM’s Commissioner of Insurance, Dr. Sunday Thomas, who disclosed this on Tuesday in Abuja, during the two-day national workshop on Micro-Insurance and Takaful said this is to expand financial inclusion across the country, especially for the informal sector.
Micro insurance is tailored towards the low income households or individuals who otherwise do not have easy access to insurance. Artisans, farmers, business men and women, etc., are being reached either through an agent or through the various associations they belong to.
Assistant Director for Financial Inclusion in the Commission, Mr. Ahmed Kollere, Dr. Thomas appreciated Star Sapphire Foundation for the second leg of the workshop which first held in Kano.
He said, “The purpose of financial inclusion is in five (5) areas. The most important area is the coverage for Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). This workshop is to support the growth and development of MSMEs in Nigeria. This initiative is to support MSMEs to remain resilient during turbulent times as we have witnessed with covid-19, EndSARS protests and the recession.”
Speaking with journalists, the Head of Corporate Communication and Market Development Department of NAICOM, Rasak Salami, said: “Our intention is to take this round the country because awareness is key. Majority of Nigerians do not know about insurance, and those who know about insurance don’t actually know the benefits inherent in the consumption. Our goal is to ensure that people are educated, they know what to do and the benefits, they know their rights when it comes to claims settlement, and also, when they have issues with the companies, they know where to go to seek redress.
“My advice to companies, especially the MSMEs is to ensure that they take appropriate and adequate insurance to cover their businesses and to cover themselves as individuals, so that in the event of a loss, the insurance will bring them back to that same level they were before the loss.
“As much as possible, we will support foundations and agencies that are willing to join us in this campaign to ensure that Nigerians are properly educated on insurance.”
Also speaking, the Chairman of Star Sapphire Foundation, Mr. Shehu Mohammed, said: “As humans, we always need insurance. We want to share with everybody – micro, small and medium businesses the need to take up insurance coverage.”
A participant who identified herself as Tope Mobolorunduro, who sells food items and baby materials, expressed optimism that the Micro Insurance and Takaful initiatives will go a long way to help business owners, especially women across the country remain resilient during this tough period.