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NAICOM To Engage Stakeholders On Financial Inclusion, 2021

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The Head of Takaful Insurance, National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), Zubairu Darazo says the commission plans to hold a number of stakeholder engagements, workshops and sensitization programmes in 2021 in pursuit of its financial inclusion strategy which is achieved when all adult population have easy access to a broad range of formal financial services that meet their needs at affordable cost.

Darazo said financial inclusion services include but are not limited to payments, savings, loans, insurance and pension products and NAICOM projects positive outlook for both Takaful and Micro going forward, adding that the market development and enforcement of compulsory insurance drive embarked upon by  the Commission is expected to improve the uptake of Takaful and Microinsurance as well.

Darazo said the federal government through the CBN launched the National Financial Inclusion Strategy 2012 “to ensure that a clear agenda is set to significantly increase both access to and use of financial services by the year 2020, to ensure that the concerns and inputs of all stakeholders are considered and roles and responsibilities are defined before regulations and policies are set for Financial Inclusion, outline the framework for increasing the formal use of financial services by the adult population to 80% by 2020 from the level of 36% in 2012 and ensure different targets are set for each component of different sectors of the financial system. Insurance industry target was also set at achieving 40% penetration amongst adult population by the year 2020 (from 1% in 2010).”

According to Darazo, financial inclusion intended to achieve “ease of access to financial products and services and ensure financial products must be within easy reach for all groups of people and should avoid onerous requirements. Financial inclusion implies not only access but usage of a full spectrum of financial services including but not limited to payments, savings, credit, insurance and pension products designed according to the need of the customers. Financial products and services must be designed to meet the needs of clients and should consider income levels and access to distribution channels at affordable cost

Darazo identified the strategy’s challenges as “lack of proper understanding of both concepts by the operators and consumers, poor public awareness and lack of skilled man power.” These have necessitated the planned stakeholder engagements.

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