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Insurers, Pension Managers Urged To Introduce Incentives To Attract Informal Sector Operators

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By Sola Alabadan

Dr. Chinyere Almona, Director General/Chief Executive Officer, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), has advised insurance and pension operators to come up with incentives that will make informal sector operators to embrace the micro insurance and micro pension plans.

She gave this charge while delivering the theme paper “Onboarding MSMEs into Micro Insurance and Pension Space in Nigeria,” at the 7th Annual Conference of the National Association of Insurance and Pension Editors (NAIPE) on Thursday in Lagos.

Dr. Almona said “Although the Insurance and pension sectors have been doing a lot in driving the financial inclusion initiative of the Federal Government, there is need to incentivize and encourage those in the informal sector, the Nigerian Nano, Micro, Small and Medium and Enterprises NMSMEs operators to embrace micro insurance and join the micro pension plan,” Dr Almona said.

She also enjoined the Insurance underwriters and pension administrators to take advantage of numerous opportunities that abound in the NMSME sector, saying “NMSMEs presents huge opportunity for the micro insurance and pension industry due to the size of the workforce.”

Other opportunities include Large MSMEs employment/labour force, large willing adult population, expanding distribution channels, favourable regulatory environment, mature financial services sector and revolution in information technology and digital innovations.

Statistically, the LCCI DG said the total number of employment by MSMEs stood at 61.9 million representing 87.9% of the total labour force in the country, adding that the number of employment generated by the informal sector was 16 million while the formal sector generated 7.5 million in 2020.

On the need to step up awareness and enlightenment of the NMSMEs on the benefits of micro insurance and micro pension and application of technology Dr Almona said “investment in enlightenment campaigns and enabling technology are required.”

The benefits, according to her, include a safety net at retirement, alignment with the current social empowerment programmes, minimizes old-age poverty, Improves standard of living for the elderly

While calling on the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) and the National Pension Commission (PenCom) to provide necessary regulatory framework that supports NMSMEs, said stated “With regulatory support, Nigeria is well placed to achieve meaningful micro-pension coverage rapidly as well as enhance insurance penetration.

Speaking on the micro insurance Industry, Dr Almona said the ratio of insurance assets to gross domestic product (GDP) has remained stagnant at 1%, noting that Microinsurance in Nigeria is at a very early but growing phase.

On the Nigerian Micro Pension Industry, she said the percentage ratio of pension assets to GDP remains low, stating that the total pension contribution remitted by the public sector is slightly higher than that of the private sector which, according to her, further justifies the low penetration of pension in the private sector of the economy.

Earlier in her Keynote address, the Director-General, National Pension Commission (PenCom), Mrs Aisha Dahir-Umar, who was represented by the Head, South West Office of PenCom, Dr Tunde Alayande, stated that the on-boarding SMEs into the Micro Pension scheme is one of the strategies in which the pension industry has been contributing to the financial inclusion initiative of the Federal Government.

He said the micro pension plan was designed for those in the informal sector including the SMEs.

Dr Alayande said that PenCom In collaboration with the Pension Operators Association of Nigeria (PenOp), has come up with lots of initiatives for the SMEs for the benefit of the industry.

In his goodwill message on behalf of all members of the Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA), the Chairman , Sugun Omosehin commended NAIPE for the conference., noting that the conference the conference is not only significant to the insurance Insurance Industry but also to the entire financial services industry.

According to him, the reason personally I am here today is that significant. NAIPE is not only projecting the image of the industry but in such a manner of making people get to understand what we do, what we represent and how he can impact our economy.

Earlier in her welcome address, the Chairman of NAIPE, Mrs Nkechi Naeche Esezobor said the theme of the conference Onboarding MSMEs into Micro Insurance and Pension Space in Nigeria,” was considered because of the importance of SMEs as driver and engine of growth of the Nigerian economy and the need to support it to continue to contribute to the growth of the economy.

She urged micro insurance and micro pension operators to see SMEs as their growth assets by ensuring that they are properly captured .

Highlight of the event was the unveiling of the association’s new identity.

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NAICOM Reviews Strategic Plan To Align With Industry’s 10-year Plan

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By Sola Alabadan

The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has been reviewing its strategic plan to align it with the Nigerian Insurance Industry’s 10-year strategic plan, the Commissioner for Insurance, Mr. Segun Omosehin, said.

The NAICOM boss disclosed this when the members of the Governing Council of the Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA) led by the incoming Chairman, Mr. Kunle Ahmed, paid a courtesy visit to NAICOM on Thursday in Abuja.

During the meeting, the NIA incoming Chairman congratulated the recently appointed Executive Management and expressed gratitude to the Commission for its pivotal role in maintaining a fair and stable insurance sector. He emphasised the importance of initiating the implementation of the 10-year strategic plan and finalising the consolidated insurance bill.
He also expressed willingness to collaborate with the new Executive, expressing confidence in their ability to elevate the insurance sector to greater heights.

The NIA delegation was briefed on the Commission’s ongoing review of its strategic plan to align it with the Nigerian Insurance Industry’s 10-year strategic plan.

The Commissioner for Insurance assured continued collaboration with the NIA to safeguard consumer rights, particularly in ensuring the prompt settlement of genuine claims.
In his concluding remarks, the CFI affirmed the Executive Management’s ambition to drive growth in the Nigerian insurance market.

Overall, the meeting showcased a collaborative spirit between NAICOM and NIA, highlighting a shared commitment to advancing the insurance sector and protecting the interests of consumers.

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Thomas Hands Over To Omosehin As New NAICOM Boss

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Usman Jankara, Deputy Commissioner, Finance and Administration (left), Sunday Thomas, Immediate Past Commissioner for Insurance, Olusegun Omosehin, Commissioner for Insurance and Ola Gam-Ikon, Deputy Commissioner for Insurance, Technical Operations during the hand over to the new commissioner in Abuja today..

By Sola Alabadan

Mr. Olusegun Omosehin has assumed duty today as the Commissioner for Insurance and chief executive of the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), having been appointed by President Bola Tinubu on April 20. He is succeeding Sunday Thomas, who has completed his term of office.

In a similar vein, Olawoye Gam-Ikon assumed duty as the Deputy Commissioner (Technical Operations), while Usman Jankara Jimada is now the Deputy commissioner (Finance & Administration).

During an interactive session with the entire Management and Staff of the Commission, The new NAICOM boss stated the Executive Management would set a new tone for the Nigerian Insurance Sector.

His predecessor, Thomas, who was in attendance to officially handover to the new CFI, thanked the staff for their support while in office.

As the Federal Government intends to achieve a $1 Trillion economy by 2026, he said the Insurance Sector is expected to play a critical role and contribute to its quota to make this a reality.

Omosehin holds holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science; a Master’s degree in International Law and Diplomacy (MILD); and also an M.Sc in Economics from the University of Lagos.

He is equally an Alumnus of the Lagos Business School (LBS) now Pan African University, as well as Said Business School, University of Oxford, UK.

He is a Fellow of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria; a Fellow of the Institute of Directors (FIoD); a Member of the Nigerian Institute of Management; and the Nigerian Society of International Law.

Prior to his appointment, Omosehin was the Managing Director of Old Mutual Nigeria Life Assurance Co. (OMNiLAC).
He was earlier the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc.

Before joining the Mutual Benefits Assurance team in April 2010, Mr. Omosehin was the Managing Director/CEO of AIICO General Insurance Company Limited, the general insurance arm of AIICO Insurance Plc. He was also the MD/CEO of Admiral Insurance Company Limited between 2003 and 2007 before merging the company with Crusader Insurance Plc during the insurance consolidation exercise in 2007; a company where he started his insurance career in 1993.

He was a member of the pioneer team that started and nurtured Custodian & Allied Insurance Plc in 1995, where he worked for about nine years before his appointment as the MD/CEO of Admiral Insurance Limited in 2003. He started his career with Crusader Insurance (Nigeria) Plc in 1993 (then a specialist life assurance company)

His hobbies include Networking, Swimming, and Golfing. He is a member of the Ikoyi Club 1938 –Golf Section, and Ikeja Golf Club.

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Pension Industry Starts Enlightenment Programme On Radio

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Driven by the need to educate, inform and enlighten various stakeholders, the pension industry has embarked on a radio program that seeks to shed light on various aspects of the pension industry in Nigeria.
The Nigerian pension industry operates under a Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) which started through the enactment of an act of parliament, 20 years ago and the scheme has grown tremendously over the years, but a number of people still don’t understand some aspects of this scheme. So, the pension industry has put together a series of interviews to shed more light on these issues.
The interviews are structured as conversations between a number of the CEOs and CIOs of pension funds within the industry, and these interviews delve into so many issues and many topics.
The interviews will be covering things like, “How are your pensions invested”; “What is the history of the CPS in Nigeria”; “How do you access your benefits”; “Pension funds and SMEs”; “Pensions and technology”; “Understanding voluntary contributions”; “Micro pensions”; “The closed pension fund administrators”; “Multi-fund structure of the Nigerian pension industry”; “Safe custody of pension funds.” Amongst others
These interviews will be aired on radio every week for the next 10 weeks and it will be aired on Nigerian info Lagos and Abuja. In Lagos, it airs at 6:30am every Saturday and in Abuja it airs at 7:30am every Monday which began from 27th of April 2024.
Speaking on this development, the Chief Executive Officer of PenOp, Oguche Agudah said ‘‘we felt that these interviews and conversations were necessary in order to bridge the gap between the knowledge of various stakeholders and the pension industry. We realize that pensions can sometimes seem complex, but we hope to simplify these concepts to make them better appreciated and to enlighten various stakeholders on functions of PFAs, PFCs, how pensions are invested and some of the other things that we felt people do not have a grasp on.
These interviews are conversational, and they are also serialized on all our social media platforms and via podcasts. Essentially, we look forward to engaging the public and making these concepts more appreciated and just getting people to understand the industry better and appreciate how pensions impact them and the society at large. This will enable them engage with the industry from a more informed position”

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