Nigerians have been assured by the National Insurance Commission, NAICOM, that the micro insurance scheme has been fitted to ensuring that those at the grassroots level are not left out of the budding Nigerian financial system. No less assurance was also pronounced by other regulators for similar policies to include the excluded.
The assurance was given at the inaugural conference of Oriental News online with theme, “Engaging with critical groups to develop effective financial inclusion initiative” which held on Thursday at the Sheraton hotel Ikeja Lagos.
Represented at the conference by Rasaaq Salami, Deputy Director/Head Corporate Communications & Market Development NAICOM, Sunday Thomas NAICOM CFI, said that micro insurance provides safety cap to protecting property, belongings from damages or loss and pays for losses when loss or damage occur. He encouraged artisans and petty traders that were represented at the event to insure their wares from destroyed, damaged or loss with low premium payment to micro insurers. “ Micro insurance is a way of safeguarding your property or business from any unforeseen event, and when it happens, what ever loss you insured against will be reimbursed you” the commissioner for Insurance assured.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), on its part reiterated that every segment of the society is covered in the ongoing financial inclusion initiative of the Federal Government. SEC said that more Nigerians are captured in the digitalisation of the economy through the financial inclusion policy.
Director General of the SEC, Lamido Yuguda said that with the help of the fast growing Fintech penetration in the economy and financial systems, more Nigerians will be captured and be more guided to effectively navigate the nation’s financial systems, through the enabling channels, including the capital market, insurance and savings.
Represented at the conference by SA’ Adatu A Faruk, Head Financial Inclusion Division, Market Development Department SEC, the SEC DG said that the commission has created new standards and rules for registration and operations of FINTECH firms in the market to ensure compliance with global standard and adequate protection of investments. He further assured that Fintech companies will speed up financial inclusion policy of the federal government, as well as ensuring adequate protection for their financial/ investment transactions.
On his part, the Executive Vice Chairman, EVC, of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Dambatta, reiterated that the best approach towards benefitting from globalised digital economy is to be financially conclusive. He was represented by Mrs. Freda Bruce-Bennet, Deputy Director, Digital Economic Department,
Dambatta, stated that the NCC in it pursuit to ensure that more Nigerians are included financially, is committed to training and retraining of youths IT experts, Hackathons, and establishing Hubs across the country to ensure steady and speedy expansion of financial inclusion policy to benefit every strata of the society. Noting that without the later, The the financial services ecosystem would have been retarded.
Executive Director, Centre for Citizens with Disability (CCD) David O. Anyaele however, called on the federal government as well as the Central bank of Nigeria (CBN) to integrate disabled citizens in the nation’s expanding financial inclusion policy.
Unsparing in his criticism of lack of considerations for the disabled in the Nigerian financial system which he bemoaned is ubiquitous in access denials and neglect, Anyaele stated the access denial is explicit in the audit of bank branches across the country where there is near total absence or lack of access and convenience facilities for the disabled. He said this is a hedge to financial inclusion to the disabled.
The conference Chairman, Dr Uju Ogubunka, CEO Bank Customers Association of Nigeria, in his address stated that the financial inclusion policy of the federal government which commenced in 2012 is promoted to make sure no Nigerian is short changed in its financial intermediations policies and economic development plans. Ogubunka however said at inception 20 per cent of the 84 million were targeted for financial inclusion by year 2020. “The adult population has now increased above 84 million and the unbanked population has also increased remarkably and this he explained, counters economic enhancement for citizens.
He explained that financial inclusion is not limited to opening of a bank account but also priming insurance cover for the risks that this segment of the society can afford and also micro pension that guarantees their future. All these forms the bedrock for financial inclusion.
The guest speaker, Mallam Garba Kurfi, Managing Director APT Securities and Funds Limited in his delivery buttressed that financial inclusion policy of the government ensures that funds deployed for entrepreneurial initiatives don’t end up in cupboards at homes.
Managing Director; CEO ARM Securities Limited, Mr Rotimi Olubi, represented Mallam Kurfi, said that the government is recording remarkable progress in the financial inclusion target, adding more hands are on deck to ensure that economic advantage of the country’s large population translates to financial benefits to the people and institutions.
He said government designed financial support initiatives for rural dwellers, artisans, petty traders, the financially disadvantaged, can only be extended to people who operates bank accounts. He said that funds are aggregated through savings in banks, investments in capital market or taking policies in insurance companies, such funds are further deployed to catalyse economic development through lending or for institutional growth.
Earlier in her opening address, Editor Oriental News Nigeria , Mrs Yemisi Izuora said that the conference was conceived by Stanmeg Communications, publishers of Oriental News Nigeria after integrated study of the progress and prospects of the financial inclusion policy in the country since inception in 2012. “ The conference is being organised given that the past couple of years, the federal government and stakeholders in the financial sector have had to deal with expanding financial services tp large community of underserved population and dealing with resilience challenges brought about by confluence of events that have taken place.”