Lagos- The Lagos State governor, Raji Fashola on Tuesday implored insurance regulators to ensure full penetration of insurance companies into the market business activities for the benefit of the nation.
Fashola, who said this at the official commissioning of NEM Insurance PLC Head Office in Lagos, said that this would be of immense benefit to Nigerian traders whose goods were often burnt in fire outbreaks .
Represented by the Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mrs Olusola Owuru,the governor said the increasing cases of fire outbreaks in markets were of great concern to the government.
“We want the insurance industry to take over and actualise the objectives they were established to achieve,” Fashola said.
The Commissioner for Insurance, Mr. Fola Daniel said the Nigeria Insurance Commission (NAICOM) would continuously strive for positive transformation in the industry, even if it would inflict temporary pains on some insurers.
According to the Commissioner, the country’s insurance industry needs rapid transformation.
“I am happy that references were made to insurance industry in other domains like South Africa and United Kingdom that contributed 15 per cent and more to their GDP but in Nigeria insurance industry only contributes less than one per cent to the GDP
“This calls for all hands to be on deck to enable the industry occupy its proper position in the financial sector.
“We should not be referred to as `Poor Cousins’ of the banking sector”, he said.
According to the commissioner, a high portion of insurance holdings in assets that cannot generate immediate cash adversely impact liquidity position.
“We are worried about over investment in real estates as this may run down Insurance Industry
“The strength of any Insurance Company is in its liquidity,”he stressed,
He, congratulated the management of the company for building a befitting edifice for its operations, adding that it signified growth and accomplishment.
The Chairman of NEM Insurance PLC, Mr Adewale Telumo said the edifice was constructed to enable the company becomea leading Insurance company in the country.
Telemu said the company’s performance had been on the upswing, with its gross premium which was N853 million in 2006 rising to N8.9 billion in 2013
“The profit after tax which stood at a meagre N13.6 million in 2006 rose to N544 million in 2013.
“A total claim of N192 million was paid in 2006 while N3.1 billion was paid in 2013,” he said. (NAN)