Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State, says his administration is exploring and promoting insurance culture in the state to, among others, encourage Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs).
He said this on Thursday in Abuja, on the sidelines of a three-day retreat for members of the Technical Committee on implementation of Third Party Liability and other Insurances in Kano State.
The retreat was organised for the committee by the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM).
Ganduja, represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr Usman Alhaji, said that the presence of an insurance policy would encourage investment because investors know that the safety of their investments was assured.
“In the long run, they will have to be insured as well and that will give them the safety required in case of any eventuality.
“This policy that is adopted by Kano state government is deliberate, and it is because we know that in the long run, we stand to mutually benefit, insurance companies and the state government and the people of Kano.’’
Ganduje said that the policy was embraced in the state government’s quest to make Kano a better state, develop economically and move to the next level.
Describing it as a step in the right direction, he said it would ensure the protection of the people of the state and their businesses by ensuring they are insured and in the event of any eventuality, they can have relief.
“It is to also ensure that we raise our Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), so that we can continue to deploy it into other sectors of development.
“Also, for the government to fulfill its number one obligation which is protecting the life and property of our people.
“In the event of any unfortunate circumstance, we know that we will have taken the necessary steps to get relief for the families of people and of course, owners of businesses.”
The governor commended NAICOM for its well-articulated and coherent mode of revenue generation, adding that his administration would continue to support the commission.
He also said that an 18-man State Technical Committee for implementation of the insurance policy under the chairmanship of the secretary to the state government had been appointed.
Mr Sunday Thomas, the Commissioner for Insurance and Chief Executive Officer of NAICOM, said that the steps taken by the state over insurance was a testament that insurance could indeed thrive in Kano, in the northern region and in Nigeria.
He said that the objective of the retreat was to equip members of the committee with requisite information and knowledge to enable them maximise opportunities that would help grow and develop insurance culture among Kano citizens.
He added that it would also help generate greater revenue for the state and serve as social protection mechanism that would assist both government and citizens in the event of any disaster.
Thomas said that the mandatory insurances that the committee would be enforcing in the state were the third party motto insurance covers in respect of all mechanically propelled vehicles that ply public roads.
Others he said are “the liability insurance cover in respect of all buildings under construction that are more than two floors’’.
He said all public buildings, including schools, offices, hotels, hospitals, market shops, shopping malls would be insured.
The insurance package would also cover “professional indemnity for all medical practitioners and hospitals in Kano state’’.
“All employers of labour that employ more than three persons will be covered by the Group Insurance cover as well as annuity for retirees as provided under the pension reform act as an option.’’
He, however, said that beyond the compulsory classes of insurance, the committee could explore the benefits of insurance by encouraging individuals or corporate entities within the state to embrace other non-mandatory insurances.
These are either through Takaful insurance otherwise known as Islamic insurance or Micro insurance which caters for the low income earners who constitute larger percentage of the population and businesses.
“This will enable an all-inclusive approach to the drive for insurance uptake that will address most of the sentiments against insurance in our society.
“As one of the leading commercial nerve centres in our country, with huge population and business potential, the adoption and enforcement of these compulsory insurances will no doubt boost insurance premium income in the country.
“It will create thousands of employment opportunities in the state, improve standard of living of the people and increase the state’s IGR.’’
He assured members of the committee that the commission was ready to provide all necessary support, especially in the area of publicity, knowledge gap about insurance and expertise to assist them carry out their assignment successfully.