SEC targets insurance sector’s premium

The Director-General, Securities and Exchange Commission, Ms Arunma Oteh, has said the reforms in the insurance sector will help increase investible assets in form of premiums to the capital market.

Oteh said this on Tuesday in Abuja while speaking at the International Micro Insurance Conference.

The conference, organised by the National Insurance Commission in collaboration with its development partners, was aimed at discussing approaches that would help in the promotion and practical implementation of micro insurance in the country.

Oteh said reforming the insurance sector was central to an overall transformation of the country, noting that the potential of the sector had not been maximised like in developed countries.

She said, “I feel very strongly about the importance of insurance to transforming not just the economy, but in transforming our entire country. And for us, as managers of the capital market, some of the transformation that we are already seeing in the sector is already a great improvement to the economy.

“This is because the reforms put in place, such as compulsory insurance, mean premium are rising, which also means that premiums are investible assets in the capital market.

“And those investible assets will enable us at the capital market to also contribute in transforming the economy, in the same way you see it being done to pension assets.”

While noting that the largest investment firms around the world were insurance companies, the SEC DG challenged practitioners to replicate such success in the country’s insurance sector.

Oteh said, “A good number of companies that are listed in the stock market are insurance companies, and we want to make sure that they are healthy and investors are enjoying good returns.

“But I think that the focus on micro insurance is very important, because one of our challenges today is that not many of the 160 million people in Nigeria participate in the economy.

“And I believe that micro insurance will provide an initiative of financial inclusion to the grass root level, which will help bridge this gap.”

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