NIGERIA: Insurance Sector Contributed Below 1% of GDP in 2012

 In spite of the positive changes recorded by the Nigerian insurance industry, its contribution to the Gross Domestic Products (GDP) of the country last year was still less than 1 per cent of the total figure.

The Chairman of the Nigerian Insurers’ Association (NIA), Mr. Remi Olowude, confirmed this in his statement at the 2013 Annual General Meeting of the umbrella body of licensed insurance and reinsurance companies in the country, which held in Lagos recently.

Presenting the scorecard of the industry for last year, Olowude, who was represented by the Vice Chairman of the association, Mr. Godwin Wiggle, said: “The industry’s contribution to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product remains at less than 1 per cent in 2012.”

Total premium income raked in by members of the association, according to him, hovered around N240 billion, which translates to a 10.24 per cent improvement on the N217.7 billion recorded in the previous year.

The association’s boss also observed that the amount of claims paid out by members of the association went down last year even as they met their respective financial obligations in the form of prompt claims payment to policyholders in the period under review.

Olowude noted that the industry had continued to grapple with inadequate infrastructure and unstable weather, which exposed insured assets to natural disasters such as floods in the year under review.

“The current performance of the industry has not been sufficient for it to reach the critical mass necessary to make the desired impact on the economy,” he added.

Olowude also stated that members of the association have resolved to revive the Nigerian Oil and Energy Insurance Pool to help improve the industry’s oil and energy underwriting capacity.

The association also organised 14 training programmes for its members in 2012 in addition to ongoing collaboration with the GIZ of Germany for the purpose of building underwriting and technical capacities on micro-insurance.

He also stated that the association has successfully completed the first phase of the Nigerian Insurance Industry Database (NIID) motor insurance module.

Meanwhile, the Director General of the association, Mr. Olorundare Thomas, said the association was working with the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) on the anti money laundering and fight against terrorism financing programmes.

He said the NIA has advised its members to take all the necessary steps to preserve the integrity of the country’s insurance market.

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