The National Insurance Commission is exploring all available options for the Nigerian insurance market to take full benefits of African Continental Free Trade agreement (AfCFTA) right after the federal government approved the ratification of the agreement on November 4, 2020.
The Nigerian government involvement in AfCFTA started with the suspended initial approval and signing by the Federal Executive Council on March 2020, due to the need to critically evaluate the agreement, with respect to Nigeria’s national interest and determine the implications for the economy. However, AfCFTA uptick started with the evaluation and signing of the agreement on July 7, 2020. From that moment NAICOM has set its resources to put insurance market on notice of the benefits that lie ahead.
Putting out the spread sheet of the Commission’ involvement, the President, Institute of Loss Adjusters of Nigeria, Mr Reginald Orakwue Egbuniwe, speaking at the 39th annual general meeting of loss adjusters in Lagos, said, “Since the ratification, the National Insurance Commission has reached out to the industry for collaboration in making this agreement work and determining how best we can capitalise on the opportunities the AfCFTA can bring to the industry.”
Egbuniwe comes up close, “To this end they have created a Nigerian AfCFTA Insurance Group Workstream and ILAN was invited to be part of this body with a responsibility for reviewing strategy and implementation of the agreement as it concerns insurance related services.”
Egbuniwe said there are several perceived benefits to loss adjusters and the industry in general which include larger market access, free movement of labour, goods, services and capital; and the opportunity the agreement will create for Nigerian professionals to seek employment in other African countries.
AfCFTA he stated, would promote Nigeria’s large market and influence manufacturers to consider setting up their plants and hubs in Nigeria, which in turn would lead to increased domestic insurance business that benefits the economy.
Besides, he said the opening of the economy to foreign companies would increase the number of companies eligible to practice as loss adjusters within the country, “provided they meet local regulatory requirements.”
When the African Continental Free Trade Agreement begins to stream, its going to unleash a potential $450bn income at stake for all economy players across the continent to leverage. The opportunities inherent in the agreement is the cynosure of all players in the economies of nations, bureaucrats and political leaders in the continent; and, the pull into the opportunities spin has set players on the sprint block waiting to commence the long haul race that will test the endurance of potential African players and their expertise in services and goods provided..