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By NBF News
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The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has finalised arrangement to collaborate with a German Agency for the purpose of developing micro insurance in Nigeria .

The Agency, the Commission said will conduct diagnostic research on modalities of developing Micro Insurance, Agricultural Insurance and Takaful (Islamic) Insurance products in Nigeria Mr. Fola Daniel, Commissioner for Insurance who disclosed this last week while flagging off a two-day  Seminar for Insurance Correspondents in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State Capital noted that the collaboration was part of the commission's drive to open up and develop the insurance market at the grassroots and by extension, increase the sector's contributions to the domestic product (GDP) of the nation.

Daniel said that the theme of this year's seminar 'Development of Micro Insurance Market in Nigeria' was carefully selected based on the recent developments in the realm of inclusive insurance in the country.

He added that development of the micro finance insurance market was one of the market development and restructuring initiatives (MDRI).

'The development of micro insurance is both the moral economic imperative, not only for promotion inclusive financial systems but also for the equitable mitigation of risks. It is for this reason amongst others, that NAICOM has taken keen interest in not just supporting but promoting its development in Nigeria , Daniel said.

He said the Nigerian Oil and Gas Content Development Act 2010 also offer the insurance industry in the country leverage   to further expand its market.

'The commissions quickly took advantage of this law to and develop a guideline for the industry. The guideline gives roadmap on how oil and gas insurance business should be conducted in Nigeria . The oil and gas insurances was rolled out early this year. While it may be too early to adjudge impact of oil and gas insurances on the overall performance of the industry, it has become apparent that we still have yawning capacity gap in that sub-sector,' Daniel said.

He noted that the realization prompted the inception of an industry committee to explore the possibilities of an oil and gas pool as a pool, adding that the committee is still working and it is hoped that the product of their deliberation will aid the commission's quest for enhanced industry.

Daniel who said the development of Agricultural insurance was another area of concern for the commission noted that although, the Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation (NAIC) seems to have the exclusive right to insure all subsidized agricultural risks in the country by virtue of the act that established it, huge opportunities still exist in the areas of commercial unsubsidized agricultural risks.

Daniel said under the relevant law, the commission was prepared to give the necessary support to any underwriter who desirers to underwrite the conventional agricultural insurance.

He noted that the imprint of the commission's strive towards growth and development of the industry were now very visible especially in the areas of market development, innovation in product development, war against fake insurers  and unethical practices, tough stance on non compliance to policy guidelines and drive to ensure consumer protection.

He noted that from early November, will roll out its advertisement campaign to further draw the attention of the public to insurances, warn and educate them about the benefits and consequences of non-compliance.

'This is preparatory to actual commencement of compulsory insurance in the country, with Ibadan , the Oyo State Capital as the starting point from November 15, 2011,' he said