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Insurance industry to focus on financial inclusion

Insurance industry to focus on financial inclusion

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Nike Popoola

The Chairman, Planning Committee, National Insurance Conference, Alhaji Femi Hassan, has said that the industry will focus on how to ensure financial inclusion.

He said this during a press conference on the upcoming National Insurance Conference with the theme, ‘Insurance industry and financial inclusion’, scheduled to hold in Abuja this month.

“To the insurance industry, financial inclusion should be the pursuit of making insurance services accessible at affordable costs to all individuals and businesses irrespective of net worth and size respectively. And that financial inclusion strives to address and proffer solutions to the constraints that exclude people from participating in the financial sector.” Hassan stated.

The fact that access to financial services is concentrated in urban areas has limited the people from the rural areas from contributing maximally to the growth and development of the nation’s economy, he noted.

Hassan said the theme of this year’s conference was quite apt in view of the policy direction of the government towards including all segments of the society within the financial safety net.

While recalling that as of 2012, according to a survey by the Enhancing Financial Innovation and Access, about 39.7 per cent or 34.9 million adult Nigerians were excluded from financial services.

In order to reduce the number of the excluded population, he said the Central Bank of Nigeria on behalf of the Federal Government launched the National Financial Inclusion Strategy in October 2012.

The strategy, he added, focused on interventions to increase access to payments, savings, credit, remittances, pension and insurance. under affordable terms and conditions

According to him, the overall aim was to empower people, promote savings, increase the level of investment by diverse economic groups, catalyze increased productivity, improve income, reduce poverty and also promote a sound, safe, vibrant and stable financial system.

“It is noteworthy that the selection of the conference theme is fitting into the Insurance Industry Consultative Council’s plans in deepening reforms, completing and implementing pending initiatives, engaging with the public and validating completed reforms that would kick off medium term reforms,” he said.

Hassan stated that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo was expected to declare the event open, while the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun will give a keynote address, with the Commissioner for Insurance, Alhaji Mohammed Kari as the chief host.

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