From Mustapha Adamu, Kano
Hundreds of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) have been sensitized on Micro Insurance and Takaful in Kano state.
The sensitization programme, tagged 2-day National Workshop on Micro Insurance and Takaful, was organized by Star Sapphire Foundation, in collaboration with National Insurance Commission ( NAICOM).
Speaking at the opening of the workshop, held at Murtala Mohammed Library in Kano yesterday, Commissioner for Insurance at NAICOM, O. S. Thomas said MSMEs are the backbone of major developed economies, as well as important contributors to employment and economic growth.
According to Thomas, study had shown that MSMEs contribute 48 percent of national Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Nigeria, account for 96% of businesses and 84% of employment.
He added that according to Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Nigeria has over 37.7 million MSMEs, noting that the benefit of MSMEs could not be ignored, especially at a time when the government is looking for ways to boost economic problems and solve the twin problems of poverty and unemployment.
On her part, Head of Micro Insurance unit of NAICOM, Hajiya Aisha Bashir said the essence of the workshop is to enlighten startups on the need to have Micro Insurance.
According to her, the workshop had made NAICOM realised that MSMEs operators want Micro Insurance, especially as a result of their religious background.
“This workshop has made us realised that most of MSMEs in Kano want Takaful micro insurance. They don’t want conventional micro insurance because they are afraid of using interest,” she said.
Mrs Bashir also stated that the awareness created at the workshop had prompted NAICOM to do more in the area of awareness.
She noted that the interest of the MSMEs is on Takaful, which is more expensive than micro insurance, announcing that the NAICOM would then creat micro Takaful insurance in order to pave wah for the MSMEs to benefit in Kano.
In his remarks, Alhassan Haruna, a Board Member of Star Sapphire said Kano has the highest number of MSMEs in the country, adding that about 8 million, put of 13 million population of Kano engage in businesses.
He said the workshop was organized to enlighten the small scale business owners about the nitty gritty of micro insurance, adding that, that was what informed the decision to start the sensitization campaign from Kano.
He added that a lot of business organizations have been invited in a bid to be enlightened on micro insurance because of the belief that most of the Muslim people did not believe on the insurance based on Islamic perspective.
“But now Islamic scholars have raised awareness. Now people have started to understand the insurance.
“ Any business, that face some risks would be compensated by the insurance company of one’s choice after you deposit your money for that purpose,” he said.