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By NBF News
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By Favour Nnabugwu
Insurance companies in the country are beginning to tap into the developmental efforts of the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) in taking the sector to the next level.

Specifically, operators are buying into NAICOM's projection of engaging about 50,000 insurance agents for employment in the industry and Mutual Benefits Assurance is setting the pace.

Mutual Benefits has already employed over 5,000 insurance agents in line with the NAICOM's initiative.

The insurance regulator had since the introduction of the Market Development and Restructuring Initiative (MDRI) embarked on projects that would boost employment creation and has made projections for 50,000 insurance agents.

During the inauguration of the MDRI committee, Mr. Fola Daniel, Commissioner for Insurance said that the insurance industry is capable of recruiting 50,000 insurance agents; consequently, Mutual Benefits has engaged over 5,000 insurance agents.

According to him, 'We will also engender the creation of additional 50,000 jobs in the industry through the agency work system in addition to achieving a substantial increase in GDP from 0.72 per cent to four percent'.

The Committee, Daniel explained, shouldered the responsibilities of implementing the MDRI project, which would deepen the insurance market.

He told members of the committee, 'Your success or otherwise will therefore be determined by the attainment of the set goals embedded in the MDRI blue-print

NAICOM chief relieved, 'The MDRI project is conceived as medium term plan of implementing the first phase of reforms in the areas of capacity building, market efficiency, and consumer protection in the Nigerian insurance market. It is envisaged that at the end of 2012, industry gross premium would move from N204billion to N1trillion.

NAICOM boss affirmed that with increased awareness and capacity building, the insurance industry in Nigeria had the potential to faster more than the banking sector.

He however noted that the growth of the insurance industry had been hampered by the activities of fake insurance agencies adding that NAICOM was working towards tackling the problem.

The CFI said, 'We want more Nigerians to buy insurance. Deepening the insurance culture among Nigerians will lead to financial securing. Currently, the insurance industry has the potential to grow more than the banking sector .If half of the population buys insurance; we will grow bigger than the banks. In other countries, insurance contributes substantially to the growth of GDP .We believe that we can replicate such growth in Nigeria.