From Ngozi Onyeakusi, Lagos
The governor of Lagos State, Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode is to open a two-day National Insurance Consumers Colloquium in Lagos on Oct. 8.
The move is commemoration of the Nigeria’s 58th years of independence celebration.
The event which is jointly organised by the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) and Consumers Education Foundation (ICEF) will feature participants from insurance industry, government, commerce, academic and NGOs from within and outside the country.
An official, Mr Johnson Adedapo, said in Lagos on Sunday that the colloquium would focus on the over 40 million excluded Nigerians from the financial net.
Adedapo, who is the Managing Director, Pastures Consult, said with mass education and mobilisation the 40 million people could be brought back into banking and insurance nets.
NAN reports that official statistics show that the Nigerian adult population which consists of people from 18 years and above is 96.4 million out of which 59.6 million are living in the rural areas.
Among this rural populace, 40.1 million are excluded from any form of financial services while the Nigerian formal sector provides income to only 7.9 million adults, representing 4.2 per cent whereas 41.6 per cent are excluded from financial services, including insurance.
Adedapo said: “Inadequate financial education has prevented many active and working population in Nigeria from contributing maximally to national development through insurance and banking.
“The colloquium is part of efforts to ensure that the 40 million financially excluded are included through persistent insurance education.
“We want to bring together stakeholders, individuals and experts to deliberate on it as insurance is as old as Nigeria.’’
Adedapo expressed the hope that the collaboration would create a synergy that would help to step up insurance education and how to access insurance by individuals and businesses irrespective of networth and sizes.
Among the challenges confronting insurance industry to be addressed are negative perspectives, customers and religion.
“The 2016 Insurance Industry Consultative Council (IICC) has revealed that less than three million Nigerians possess insurance.
“Insurance consumer education can be used to attract more Nigerians into the financial net which is missing in the country even among the educated class.
“There is need to mitigate losses through insurance particularly unexpected losses.
“Many Nigerians still see vehicle insurance as just a document instead of a contractual agreement against third party liability,’’ Adedapo said in a statement.
“The culture of insurance and its inherent benefits are not yet properly harnessed for the benefit of potential and real consumers.”Adedapo called for a proper regulatory framework for insurance practice in Nigeria and the need to address the misconceptions of consumers.