By Ebere Nwoji
The Group Managing Director of Mutual Benefit Assurance plc, Dr. Akin Ogunbiyi has said there
is a significant relationship between insurance development and economic growth.
He also noted that Insurance provides vital support for emerging economies and helps in an indispensable manner to achieve growth targets.
Ogunbiyi, who stated this at the Pearl Awards organised in Lagos at the weekend, also noted that a strong and competitive insurance industry not only enhances growth, but substantially mitigates critical challenges on the path of sustainable economic development”.
Ogunbiyi, in a speech titled; ‘Insurance Development Will Fast Track Genuine Change Efforts’, said insurance makes economic activities possible and contributes directly to it.
According to him, through its risk transfer and indemnification services as well as the essentially value-adding financial intermediary services, insurance guarantees productivity improvement, production efficiency enhances and increases investment opportunities.
He also said insurance institutional monitoring benefits provides valuable administrative services in business such as risk management and claims payment.
According to him, despite this all important role played by the industry, regrettably, Africa’s share in the global insurance market is a paltry 1.5% with South Africa contributing nearly 74% to this figure.
Ogunbiyi further stated that the insurance contributes close to 15% to South Africa’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) while in Nigeria, it is still less than 1%.
“Insurance plays a positive and very significant role in employment generation. The machinery of insurance, through its value-adding activities, generates a sustained increase in decent employment and income.
To grow the economy, he said Nigeria must do something that utilises its strengths and delivers benefits to its teeming population.
He urged Nigerians to embrace the seeds of insurance, water them, and feed on them assuring that they will blossom into wonderful achievements.
“If insurance penetration is the ratio between insurance premiums written and gross domestic product, then let us collaborate to grow these penetration ratios in order to bring them very close to expected values”, he stressed.
Furthermore, he said in the on-going efforts to grow Nigeria’s economy and deliver democracy dividends to the teeming population, the insurance industry should be supported for it to fully achieve its growth enhancing potential.
He enjoined Nigerians as well as government at all levels and the private sector to join hands and support the industry to play its highly indispensable role in galvanising the economy.
Ogunbiyi, said Mutual Benefits Assurance has through its pioneering of entrepreneurial value-adding initiative, and very audacious transformational goal, demystified the myth that the huge business of insurance can only thrive in the formal sector.
“With little premium, we are taking insurance to all the local government areas of Nigeria. We are guaranteeing personal well-being and comfort as well as investments that deliver and engender sustainable growth”, he stated.
He further said through its marketing and development initiatives, the company has given employment to over 5,000 Nigerian youths and about 500 others in Liberia and Niger Republic where it has full-fledged operations.
“Our strategy is to give a fillip to corporate and individual efforts and make entrepreneurs as well as businessmen/women more productive and effective. We enhance and boost the wealth of the rich and at the same time help the hardworking poor to completely cast-off the chains of poverty and climb the progress ladder.”
He urged Nigerians to collaborate with the company to work the economy to be optimally productive and thereby make life better and easier for the teeming population.