- Minister urges that insurance can leverage the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to accelerate intra-African trade.
- Stakeholders are told to use the Insurance supervisory systems and practices to continually upgrade in order to cope with these developments.
- Insurance and insurance-linked financial activities are increasingly crossing national and sectorial boundaries.
Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Dr Zainab Ahmed, urged that Insurance stakeholders in West Africa must upgrade their operations to take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to accelerate intra-African trade.
The Minister disclosed this on Monday at the 50th Anniversary of the West African Insurance Companies Association(WAICA) 2023 Educational Conference, hosted by Nigeria, in Lagos, with the theme: “Repositioning Insurance Industry in West Africa for Global Competitiveness”.
The Minister represented by Mr Sunday Thomas, Commissioner for Insurance/Chief Executive Officer, National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), said the insurers must reposition the industry for global competitiveness.
The Minister stated that insurance in the whole of Africa has been characterised by low penetration and poor contribution to most African countries’ financial growth, urging that to maintain an efficient, fair, safe and stable insurance market in the West African sub-region, stakeholders must promote measures for the benefit of the policyholders and other stakeholders, adding:
- “As an optimist, we are encouraged to believe in a new dawn, leveraging technological innovations and a positive paradigm shift, focused and poised to meet the anticipated surge in the demand and untapped side.
- “In the modern business environment, disruption plays an integral part of any business.
- “The insurance industry, like other components of the financial system, is changing in response to a wide range of global social and economic forces.
- “In particular, insurance and insurance-linked financial activities are increasingly crossing national and sectorial boundaries.
The Minister noted that insurers can use the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to accelerate intra-African trade, citing the need for a high-quality insurance database to provide a holistic view of the industry’s operations in the sub-region.
She urged this can be done through the use of technology and other alternative distribution channels to increase market penetration, citing that multilateral cooperation must be enhanced with the objective of promoting international standards and fostering favourable investment environments and orderly markets in the West African sub-region and beyond.
- “Consequently, it has become imperative for the Insurance supervisory systems and practices to continually upgrade in order to cope with these developments.
- “This is to mitigate possible financial and systemic stability concerns arising from the insurance sector as they emerge.
- “I congratulate all WAICA delegates on the occasion of the association’s golden jubilee and wish you a fruitful deliberation,”
Mr Ganiyu Musa, Managing Director, Cornerstone Insurance Plc urged WAICA members to go for an international rating cycle to boost their profile and the confidence of the public in their companies, urging that the ratings are key and deeper than audit to consumers, because such recommendation from an independent third party, shows the credibility of a company to the consumers.
WAICA was established in 1973, with the aim of boosting insurance cooperation, penetration and competitiveness in West Africa.
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