Lagos State Governor, , has charged insurance stakeholders to design business-friendly policies that would aid the growth of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises across the country while taking into cognisance the operational peculiarities of the sector.
The Governor, who gave the charge at a one-day National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) workshop at the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) Conference Centre, Alausa Ikeja, challenged insurance professionals to use the opportunity of the workshop to address public apathy to insurance culture.
Sanwo-Olu, who was represented at the event by the Commissioner for Finance, Dr. Rabiu Olowo, commended NAICOM for organising the sensitisation workshop which, he said, would aid the survival and growth of MSMEs in Nigeria and by extension, the growth and development of the country’s economy.
He urged practitioners and participants at the workshop to leverage on insurance to promote businesses and ensure the sustainability of small businesses in Lagos.
His words: “It is essential to advise insurance companies to ensure that policies for MSMEs are designed to meet the needs and also, address the peculiarities of MSMEs. Such insurance policies must be affordable and free of technicalities so that they can be easily understood with reasonable assurance of prompt settlement of claims”.
The Governor reiterated that Lagos, with over three million Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, is not only the home of small businesses in Nigeria but also a model of insurance best practices in the country.
He disclosed that his administration has developed some initiatives including the establishment of the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund Exclusive Fair organised for MSMEs to showcase their products and promote patronage, free training and supply of start-up equipment for graduates of vocational skill acquisition centres, among others.
Sanwo-Olu, however, insisted that the gains of all efforts by his administration in support of MSMEs, including those being implemented at other levels of government, cannot be fully guaranteed without a safety net against unforeseen circumstances, hence, the importance of appropriate insurance cover for these businesses.
He commended Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises’ proprietors in the State, describing them as “very resilient business owners and practitioners”.
Earlier, in his welcome address, the Commissioner for Insurance and Chief Executive Officer of the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), Mr. Olorundare Sunday Thomas, said the sensitisation workshop was aimed at creating an interactive forum where the importance of insurance in the Lagos business environment could be deliberated.
He said the idea of the workshop was to use the forum to highlight the importance of insurance and how it can be used to mitigate the risk associated with businesses as it was the case in the destruction of property during the Y2020 #EndSARS protests in Lagos and incessant fire outbreaks.
Thomas noted that the sensitisation workshop earlier held by regulators in Kano, Kaduna and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) were successful, reiterating that the message remained the same, which is “MSMEs stakeholders should always subscribe to insurance products and services”.
President of the Chartered Institute of Insurance (CIIN), Sir Muftau Oyegunle, in his goodwill message, said insurance remains the key factor in business and should not be neglected, saying “Whatever you cannot afford to lose must be insured”.
Top State Government officials present at the workshop include Mrs. Yemi Ayoola, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance and Mr. Bode Yusuf, the Director of Insurance Department, Ministry of Finance among others.