Insurance in Nigeria can be traced back to the 20th century when Nigeria’s economy was solely dependent on agriculture. There was a need for merchants to transport their cash crops to Europe and also reduce the risk of such transportation. This majorly contributed to the dominance of marine insurance at that time.
The industry has grown with companies having divergent policies and coverages. This diversion includes among others Marine insurance, Life insurance (assurance), Fire and Burglary Insurance, Motor Vehicle Insurance, and Social insurance. Despite this diversion, the insurance business remains a hard sell in the country as it has only a 0.31% penetration level in the country.
Over time, the insurance industry has occupied the least position among other sub-sectors of the Nigerian financial services sector. Though the operators have been struggling to wriggle out of the tide through various activities and strategies, these have not yielded the desired results as the industry’s contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the economy remains below one percent!
The reason for this is simple. Most Nigerians are ignorant of the relevance of insurance to their day-to-day lives; as such, many undervalue the importance and jettison it. Indeed, on the scale of preference of an average Nigerian, insurance ranks least and is always the first item to be deleted anytime there is a need for adjustment in their list of expenses.
The Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions (ASSBIFI), in its bid to redefine the status and future of the insurance industry, has embarked on several strategies in engaging various stakeholders in the industry – Federal Government, company CEOs / management, staff employees, and even the Nigerian populace at large.
ASSBIFI has engaged the federal government in robust discussions through the Senate, NAICOM, and the Ministry of Labour and Employment on emerging issues in the industry. This is aimed at strengthening the economic policy formulations of the federal government.
ASSBIFI strives to eliminate any form of barrier whatsoever that denies any individual, or group, the right to enjoy the fruit of dignity of labour or any discrimination against workers, based on gender, race, ethnicity, religion, etc.
ASSBIFI is a firm believer in Human Capital Development through training, retraining, and retooling by providing enabling environment for skill acquisition to all. This is aimed at boosting professionalism, especially in this innovative and technologically driven era.