By Ebere Nwoji
Leadway Asssurance Ltd is collaborating with the global reinsurance giant, Swiss Re, in championing the course of agricultural insurance awareness creation in Nigeria.
Leadway, said it was spurred to act in this direction following realisation that though agriculture is a very popular business in Nigeria, it is obvious that seven out of every 10 Nigerians live through agricultural activities, agric insurance is close to non-existence in Nigeria.
This is because over the years, despite the huge population of Nigerians who engaged in agriculture, only the federal government owned Nigeria Agricultural Insurance Corporation (NAIC) provides Agric insurance to farmers.
The insurance services provided by the corporation is only for the few farmers who secure bank credits through the various SMEs loan scheme provided by government.
All farmers who do not access government loans are excluded from the corporation’s insurance services mainly because of ignorance and lack of driving force to compel them to buy insurance.
Against this backdrop, many farmers are excluded from agric insurance services in the country while they are frequently exposed to losses from natural risk occurrences like flood, fire outbreaks and all forms of farm diseases which often impoverish farmers and limit their chances of business growth.
But currently, Leadway assurance said it has resolved to take the opportunity of agric insurance liberalisation instituted by the National Insurance Commission( NAICOM) few years back to popularise Agric insurance among Nigerian farmers.
The company, at the weekend,organised what it tagged Agricultural Risk Management and Risk Transfer Solutions Seminar for farmers in Nigeria.
Speaking at the seminar, which took place in Lagos, Executive Director, Leadway General Business, Adetola Adegbayi said Agriculture is one area that many Nigerians venture into though at different scales.
She said despite this, most farmers don’t know they have to protect their farms against risks.
She said because of this, they carry their risks on their own with the result that for every occurrence of risk, the farmer often retires back to nothing and begins to look for fresh money to start his business all over again or resort to idleness and poverty.
“Agric business you know is such that you are constantly faced with the risk of nature, anything can happen. So as a result of that, they don’t really know so when they come to a loss position, they won’t know what to do because all their investments will be lost.”
On Leadway Assurance position in the face of the problem, Adegbayi said: “So we are now saying that agric is largely in SMES space, because it is in SMES space, find a way to protect your business so that when the unexpected happens, you can be in position to start your business again without worrying how to get money again. Insurance will pay you and you start your business again.”
According to her, Leadway is collaborating with Swiss Re because Swiss Re is a leader in Agric Insurance worldwide and has stood as Leadway’s reinsurer and partner for over 40 years.