INSURANCE SECTOR TO LEAD IN NIGERIA'S ECONOMIC TRANSFORMATION - FG
Vice President, Arc Mohammed Namadi Sambo at the commissioning of National Insurance Commission (NAICOM)'s headquarters in Abuja last weekend, said, 'The insurance sector is among the various sectors of the economy especially the financial services industry, which this administration believe should lead the economic transformation and position the nation for achieving the desired aspiration of being one of the leading twenty economies in the world by the year 2020'.
He commended the developmental initiatives of the commission which according to him, 'had promoted efficient management of public assets and enhanced the industry's ability to contribute meaningfully to the nation's GDP'.
The president however challenged the industry to do more in educating and informing the public of its benefit and urged the Commission to be consistent with service delivery as it is the only way that the insurance industry in Nigeria would chart a new path.
'Federal Government is aware of the challenges being faced by the insurance companies and that it was doing everything to confront them. This government is not unaware of some of the challenges that the businesses in our nation including insurance are confronted with and we are doing all that are necessary to resolve most of them.'
Government also assured it would give full support to the industry's capacity to generate employment most especially for the young graduates. The President commended the Commission and office of the Head of Service for effective coordination of the Federal Government Group Life Insurance Programme for all civil servants.
In her remarks, the Chairman governing Board of the Commission and former Minister of Women Affairs, Hajia Maryam Inna Ciroma, who expressed her gratitude to the Federal Government for its support and the completion of the Commission's building, said since its establishment NAICOM had operated in rented apartments.
She expressed the view that with the acquisition of a perfect and conducive work environment the Commission would focus on its mandate of ensuring a vibrant insurance industry capable of contributing meaningfully to the economic growth and development of Nigeria.
Earlier, the Commissioner for Insurance and Chief Executive of NAICOM, Mr. Fola Daniel, said the impact of rented apartment was palpable as it contributed to low morale and poor productivity and could not effectively execute its mandate of regulating and supervising the insurance industry. He said the option to acquire its own building would enhance the productivity of the Commission.
He however charged all State Governments and stakeholders to support the country by partnering with the administration to make for effective implementation of its reforms towards the well being of her people.
'I have been informed of the development initiative of the commission especially those relating to the enforcement of various insurances which should promote efficient management for public affair and enhance the ability the country needs meaningfully the nations gross domestic product.
'I have also been informed that the Federal Government New life initiative programme for all civil servants, which commenced in the year 2008, is going very well. I enjoin various state governments to key into this laudable workers friendly initiative'.
The honourable minister of state for finance, Dr. Yerima Lawan Ngama further added that if the potentials of the commission were harnessed, it could create job opportunities for a sizeable number of unemployed Nigerians.
'I am aware the management of the national insurance commission is working towards uplifting the face of the insurance and deepening its penetration in Nigeria, and equally towards massive job creation through the market development and restructuring initiative (MDRI)'
In his speech, the commissioner of insurance, Mr. Fola Daniel and the chairman of the Governing board of NAICOM expressed gratitude to the federal government and other notable organs and individuals for their roles in making the acquisition of the edifice a reality.
'Our immediate past office was situated in front of a major building material market within the metropolis, with its attendant noise and considerable difficulty of human and vehicular movement.
'Several options were explored to relocate the commission to a conducive operating environment.
For time effectiveness, the option to purchase an already finished building was considered the best option, considering also building material and labour fluctuations'.
Among the guests, notable was the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Achebe who graced the event shortly after its commencement.