The Federal Government has said that it will ensure adequate insurance of its assets.
The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, said this during the National Insurance Conference of the Insurance Industry Consultative Council with the theme: ‘Nigeria open for business’, in Abuja on Monday.
Adeosun said, “Foreign investors have shown great interest in the Nigerian insurance sector by entering into the market and progress can be seen in the introduction of new insurance products in the growing mortgage and housing sector.
“To consolidate on the progress being made, the Federal Government will play its part to ensure that government assets are adequately insured.”
The minister, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mahmoud Isa-Dutse, also said that through the Voluntary Asset and Income Declaration Scheme, the Federal Government would train insurance brokers and underwriters because they were the people who would support individuals to purchase insurance policies that hedge potential losses of wealth and assets.
While pointing out that the Federal Government appreciated the fact that the insurance industry was dynamic and creating employment and entrepreneurship opportunities at all levels, she said the government would support the sector to continue to contribute effectively to sustainable and inclusive economic growth.
“We must be willing to expand the insurance market beyond the upper class and formally employed market, to the middle and lower income market. Doing this means that our distribution channels must be innovative, considering product features, cost, proximity and all other relevant factors,” Adeosun stated.
The Commissioner for Insurance, Mohammed Kari, said that the various reforms and initiatives of the Federal Government, including the fight against corruption and terrorism, improved management of the nation’s wealth and the determination for improved infrastructure all pointed to ensuring that the environment was prepared for business.
While speaking on the Executive Orders issued by the Acting President Yemi Osibanjo on the ease of doing business, Kari said that the commission had commenced a review of its processes to include timelines and datelines for granting approvals, licences and permits.
The Chairman, Heirs Holdings Limited, Mr. Tony Elumelu, called on the Federal Government to speedily address the $14bn annual infrastructure deficit in the country, stating that it was the single greatest impediment to business.
He stated that the infrastructure challenge had become a source for concern as the country was in need of critical transportation system such as roads and railways, which facilitate businesses.
Elumelu added that a country without efficient, affordable and accessible transport systems to facilitate the movement of people and goods from one place to the other would have difficulties attracting investors.
He stated that the gap in infrastructure had provided discerning investors with huge opportunities to partner the government in addressing the deficit.