The National Insurance Commission focus to explore all the potentials in the Nigerian insurance market was the rallying point for the launch in 2009 market development and restructuring initiative (MDRI) thirteen years running the Commission has not quenched the enthusiasm.
In the paper, “NAICOM’s Market Development Initiatives, The Journey So Far” Rasaaq Salami, head, corporate communications and market development, at a recent media retreat, said the Commission’s market development is a strategic step to improve and equally expand an existing market rather than seeking a new market. Besides, he said it entails looking for new buyers to pitch a product to a different segment of consumers in an effort to increase sales.
With this focus on a continuous spiral up, Salami said the essence of the market development initiatives which already is beginning to sprout new premiums income with reference to public building liability insurance. He said other compulsory insurances had not made this mark before MDRI, and this achievement made him to assert that the projection of N6 tr gross premium income by 2030 from the current N630bn in 2021 is achievable. This is against the backdrop of N1.1tr set when MDRI was launched in 2009 (N164bn) and target date set for 2015.
However, he said the Commission has moved multiple steps in the direction of market development for the operators to latch on and earn the insurance premiums from government at all levels by insuring assets and making a complete haul from compulsory insurances, breaking the insurance fallow grounds of nano, medium, small enterprises and also reaching the excluded with microinsurance and takaful, while bancassurance is the synergy with banks to improve penetration and the bourgeoning entertainment sector the pole vault to reach the creative industry.
Salami at the Uyo Akwa Ibom retreat, explained that the Commission has demonstrated with hands on the plough that the torrent of guidelines issued to develop the market it expects the operators to follow after to explore and expand the new markets earn the premiums and meet NAICOM set target for the industry by 2030. These activities aimed at achieving insurance market development are: market conduct guideline; bancassurance guideline; microinsurance guideline; RBS framework/ own risk assessment (ORSA); Nigerian insurance industry ICT guideline, others are, guideline on insurance of government assets, and insurance web aggregators operational guideline.
Stating that the market development initiatives is a turning wheel, Salami said this has led to establishment of liaising with target states, sensitisation across the geo-political zones for all levels of businesses with particular focus on NMSMEs, media enlightenment and sponsorship of programmes.
Building on the financial inclusion initiatives of the federal government, he said NAICOM has so far licenced four Takaful insurance companies, six microinsurance companies and currently processing four microinsurance and three Takaful applications at various approval stages.
NAICOM market development command station helmsman said what the Commission expects to reinvent, deliver and sustain, is insurance as a tool for stimulating growth at the federal and state levels; create over 250,000 new jobs; and improve insurance consumer trust and confidence in the sector. Other expected deliverables that the Commissions likens to aiming at the bulls eye he stated are; increasing insurance contribution to GDP from 0.4% to over 3.0% and lower insurance gap from 94% to 70%.
Demonstrating unflinching commitment not minding the cost of funding market development, Salami said, “NAICOM will continue to work with all stakeholders to develop strategic, sustainable and implementable initiatives for deepening insurance penetration to enable optimal contribution to the Nigerian economy.”