Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State says many Nigerians are yet to understand what insurance is and how it works.
Ajimobi made the assertion yesterday while playing host to the leadership of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN) led by its President, Mr Eddie Efekoha, in Ibadan.
The visit was to keep the state abreast of the institute’s forthcoming 46th Education Conference with the theme: “Increasing Insurance Penetration through Value Creation’’.
The education conference is a-three day programme holding from Nov. 8 to Nov. 10 at the Premier Hotel, Ibadan.
Ajimobi, represented by his Deputy, Chief Moses Adeyemo, said that insurance was not well accepted in the country compared to other developing and developed countries due to lack of knowledge.
“Insurance is as good as any bank product, and if properly promoted, it will contribute better quota to the country’s Gross Domestic Products (GPD).
“I urge the CIIN to intensify its insurance awareness and enlightenment programmes to ensure that insurance penetrates all households to attract more Nigerians.
“As insurance professionals, it is your duty to ensure that Nigerians understand insurance and the pivotal role it plays.
“You must also adjust your strategies to attract Nigerians into insurance net, even if it involved returning some of the premiums collected,’’ he said.
The governor also urged insurance practitioners to improve on the claims payments to change the citizens’ wrong perception toward insurance.
According to him, Nigerians who buy insurance policies are discouraged to make further purchases due to inability of some underwriters to fulfill their claims obligations when the need arises.
He said that the state was currently floating Special Health Insurance Scheme (SHIS) in which it subscribed N650 monthly per employee of the state.
“At the beginning of this administration, we kicked-off a SHIS in which it played N650 monthly for each worker.
“This contribution enables the workers and their families to access medical treatments up to any amount, once they are state employees,’’ Ajimobi said.
He said the state government would support CIIN to ensure the knowledge and service of insurance spreads across the state.
Earlier, Efekoha commended the governor on various impressive projects he had executed.
According to him, the achievements attracted the institute to schedule the education conference in the state.
“We commend the government for making insurance a household name in the state through its SHIS,’’ he said.
Efekoha said that the institute would intensify its efforts to expand insurance enlightenment to all parts of the country.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Director-General of CIIN, Mr Richard Borokini and the institute’s Education Conference Chairman, Mr Mufutau Oyegunle, were among those who visited the governor.
Also, Chief Yemi Soladoye, President-General, Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes and the first insurance practitioner in Oyo State was among the delegates.