Nigeria President Mohammadu Buhari, opened the 47th African Insurance Organisation today (September 6) in Lagos via virtual platform with bundles of commendation for the African insurance market with a privilege endorsement of the Nigerian insurance market for the support and solidarity vent it opened for the government to draw from during the pandemic lockdown and up and until now.
It is also on record that Buhari is the first Nigerian President to share a strong bond with the insurance market and the first to open an AIO confab in the three editions hosted by Nigeria in the past 31 years including the ongoing confab, a hybrid edition: in-person and virtual attendance.
The President who did not hide his appreciation for the unprecedented support of the local insurance market as the pandemic hit the nation hard in 2020, held the view that such could be replicated by the insurance market in Africa to improve the economic growth of the continent. This becomes more imperative and reassuring with the theme: Rebuilding Africa’s Economy: an Insurance Perspective.
He said the African market can help African economy with efficient ways the continent can get out of the challenges the pandemic had caused. This could come about with technology deployment and growth driven competition that offers better service to the consumers of insurers.
“There is a great future for the insurance industry in Africa. We only need to put the right mechanism in place for it to thrive. I assure you that this administration has and will continue to support insurance growth in Nigeria and Africa at large. I commend the leadership of the AIO for the resilience, foresight and perseverance in ensuring that the African insurance market strives to meet its expectations in the global market notwithstanding the prevailing challenges,” he said.
Emphasising the vital role the insurance industry has to play, Buhari said as leaders across the globe deploy and sustain pandemic curbs through a coordinated approach, the insurance industry should be the willing partner as the governments especially Nigerian seeks for options to diversify and rebuild the economy. Therefore, he urged insurance companies in Nigeria to take advantage of ongoing efforts by the federal government to grow non-oil sector through innovation.
The President therefore charged the African attendees either in-person or virtual, to use the sprout from the theme to use the insurance perspective to rebuild Africa’s economy.
In her remarks, minister of finance, budget and planning, Mrs Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, commended the foresight of AIO founders for fostering African integration agenda to collectively address shortcomings.
In the line of shortcomings, the minister urged the insurance market to design their products to meet the needs of consumers, especially the low income earners as an inclusion plan arguing that development of Africa states economies would be accomplished by aiming at the peculiarity of the continent.