The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, has urged Nigerians to embrace insurance to protect themselves against the eventualities of life and also enhance the sector’s contribution to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Adeosun made the appeal at the 2018 National Conference of the National Association of Insurance and Pension Correspondents (NAIPCO) held in Lagos on Thursday.
She said insurance, which remained the greatest panacea to poverty alleviation, had been neglected by many Nigerians.
She, however, said life without insurance was equal to building a house on a shallow ground.
The theme of the 2018 conference is: “The Role of Stakeholders in Developing Insurance & Pension Sectors.”
According to the Finance Minister, insurance also remained the key to wise financial planning among all Nigerians, including grassroots dwellers.
She urged citizens to key into the various economic developmental initiatives of the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) to develop a solid financial plan.
Adeosun, who was represented by the Deputy Commissioner for Insurance, Finance, and Administration, NAICOM, Mr. George Onekhena, said excuses of non-payment of claims used by Nigerians to avoid insurance policies amounted to “self-deceit.”
The minister advised citizens to make inquiries on insurance policies before subscribing to them.
She said anyone in doubt could engage the services of insurance brokers for professional advice.
“Moreover, nobody knows the day of his or her death and it would be disastrous for anyone to leave dependents without benefits.
“Insurance is the foundation for every wise financial planning,” she said.
She also said the greatest challenge facing the insurance sector, which was common to the pension sector, was that many people hardly inform others when they benefited from the sector.
“A clear example is the quantum of retirement benefits paid on monthly basis by Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) to retirees and the quantum of claims paid yearly by insurance firms.
“For instance over N76 billion insurance claims were paid in 2014, close to N90 billion claims were paid in 2015 and over N105 billion claims paid in 2016.
“Rather people react when claims or benefits are not paid,” she said.