Finance expert and Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer APT Securities and Funds Limited, Mallam Kasim Garba Kurfi, has called on the Federal government to imbibe a fresh insight about insurance and pension sectors as the midwife of funds for national development by creating enabling environment for the two sectors to thrive and subsequently leverage government rethink to make their sectors the first line of action by individuals, businesses and large companies.
Driving pointedly that two sectors have proven in other climes where incidentally, they are inseparable unlike Nigeria where it was separated about two decades ago, Kurfi said the sectors if well harnessed and identified as such by all and sundry, they would not only drive but sustain economic growth in the country.
Kurfi, position reverberated while delivering the theme paper the “Role of Insurance and Pension Sectors In Building Sustainable Economic Growth Under The New Government,” at the 8th Annual National Conference of the Nigerian Association of Insurance and Pension Editors (NAIPE) in Lagos and he labeled insurance and pension sectors as engines for sustainable economic growth to be reckoned with in every economy .
He specifically called on the present administration in the country to put in place enabling policies and laws that support the survival of the sectors for them to continue to contribute the national growth and highlighted the contributions of the two sectors to the national economy saying, “There is over N2.5 tr assets managed by the insurance institution in Nigeria as of 31st December 2022. While there is over N16.6 tr assets managed by the Pension Fund Administration as at 31st December 2022, the combination of the two institutions has a total asset of over N19 tr. The role played by the two institutions in sustaining our economic growth left no one in doubt that they are instruments for most of the economic development
Further unveiling the insurance industry as the indispensable sector that exists for the survival of other sectors, Kurfi said, “Over N726 bn in premiums paid in the year 2022 according to the National Insurance Commission, while the industry also paid over N318.1 bn in claims to its customers within the same period. This is a remarkable achievement in comparison with 3.5% growth of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).” This he remarked has qualified insurance as a sector that “represent promise of the future compensation in case of specific losses or in exchange for periodic payment called premium. It primarily hedges against risk or contingent or uncertain loss.”
On pension, he said, “The contribution of pension funds that run over N16 tr is pronounced in all phases of life. Many sectors of the economy benefit from excess funds that look for alternative ways to invest such as FGN SUKUK, GREEN BOND, and Infrastructures Bond, among many others.”
Kurfi said pension ensures that every worker receives his/her retirement benefit as at when due. Ensure workers save in order to cater for future liability and old age. Provide long-term finance for the real sector. Stimulate the development of the capital market.
While condemning those agencies and institutions clamouring to exit Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS), Kurfi enjoined the government at all levels to discourage such moves in the interest of the pensioners and the nation’s economy.
He said the contribution of insurance and pension sectors towards economic development is pertinent and can be seen especially in driving the nation’s financial inclusion project.