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Insurers Asked To Target Informal Sector   
 
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21-Apr-2015  
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Commissioner of the National Insurance Commission (NIC), Lydia Lariba Bawa has tasked insurers in the country and their counterparts in Anglophone West Africa to target the informal sectors in their respective economies.

Ms. Lariba Bawa made the call at the opening ceremony of the 37th Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Educational Conference of the West African Insurance Companies Association (WAICA) on Monday in Accra.

The three-day AGM is being attended by representatives from Ghana, Nigeria, Gambia, Sierra Leone and Liberia under the theme: ‘Africa Rising: Taking the Insurance Industry in West Africa to the Next Level of Our Development.’

According to the NIC boss, the informal sector, which has enormous potentials for development of the insurance industry in the sub-region, is not being properly utilized.

This, she said, was partly due to the fact that most insurance companies “in the WAICA region tend to predominately focus on the formal sector businesses and white collar workers who usually earn regular incomes and operate bank accounts.”

“The irony however is that the majority of the population in the West Africa sub-region operates in the informal sector,” she said.

According to her, until insurers in the sub-region find suitable and innovative ways of reaching out to the informal sector, it will be extremely difficult for us to take insurance to the next level of our development.”

She said that insurance penetration rate in WAICA countries and in Sub-Saharan Africa at large was remarkably low.

“Even though the five WAICA countries have different levels of penetration, none of them has a penetration rate of more than 2 percent,” she hinted.

In a keynote address delivered on his behalf, President John Mahama indicated that the insurance premium per capita in emerging markets, including Africa averages only $120, saying it is therefore not surprising that the insurance market in Africa is still underdeveloped.

He appealed to insurers to strategically position themselves to be able to provide appropriate risk mitigation instruments to facilitate the developmental agenda of Africa moving forward.

Public Health Crisis

Outgoing President of WAICA, H. Momo Fortune, urged insurers to re-strategize in order to be more responsive to the needs of their host nations in times of public health crisis, citing the Ebola epidemic that hit West Africa recently.

“We, the citizens of West Africa, must not allow opportunities for growth to be hampered by avoidable social and public health issues, such as what was experienced in 2014,” Mr. Fortune said.
 
 
Source: Daily Guide
 
 

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