The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and financial sector experts have called for stronger collaboration among microfinance banks (MFBs) to promote the growth of micro-insurance as a tool for deepening financial inclusion.
Making this call in Lagos at the 6th annual symposium of the Nigerian Microfinance Platform (NMP) organised by the Microfinance Learning and Development Centre (MLDC) on ‘Expanding The Frontiers of Financial Inclusion: the Micro-insurance Option’, the experts noted that MFBs are instrumental to the expansion of micro-insurance services among the populace.
Addressing participants at the symposium, Deputy Governor, Financial Sector Surveillance, CBN, Aisha Ahmad, said there was the need for a collective strategy to re-emphasize the importance of micro-insurance as a financial service and re-align it to attain a higher level of financial inclusion within the country’s microfinance sub-sector.
Represented by the Deputy Director, Other Financial Institution Department, Idowu Akinlade, Ahmad said: “Financial inclusion, which entails affordable and available access to financial services by every adult in any given country or area, also includes insurance. However, this aspect of financial servicing has been under-emphasized for too long.
“I consider it vital for us, through collaborative efforts, to look deeper into this shadowed aspect of financial inclusion, exchange ideas with our counterparts from other countries, build regulator/operator capacity and tackle issues within the sector to enhance the provision and availability of affordable financial services in Nigeria.”
Group Chief Executive Officer, Letshego Holdings, the parent company of Letshego MFB, Andrew Okai, also said: “Microfinance participants should commit to collaborate on building micro-insurance as product of necessity and do it with confidence. They should adopt and develop clear value propositions while paying attention to simple but efficient distribution channels supported by easy claims resolutions.”
On his part, Managing Director/Chief Executive, Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), Hassan Bello, advised the participants on factors MFBs need to consider in rendering micro-insurance service.
Represented by the Director, Special Insured Department, Joshua Etopidiok, Hassan said these factors include: trust quotient of the insurance industry, ease of purchase of micro-insurance services, customer service through digitisation and advocacy for micro-insurance.