This Day (Lagos)

13 February 2013

Nigeria: Institute Boosts MFBs, MFIs On Micro-Insurance Services

The West African Business School said it has initiated an annual training programme to build the capacity of Micro Finance Banks (MFBs) and other Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs) to deliver micro-insurance services to the grassroots.

The Executive Director of the school, Mr. Obasi Ngwuta, who disclosed this in a statement in Lagos, said insurance practitioners now looking for avenues to deliver micro-insurance services to the grassroots can do so using micro-finance institutions.

The annual programme, which begins in Lagos soon, would afford insurance operators the opportunity to key into the expansion programmes of micro-finance institutions to deliver micro-insurance services to the grassroots.

"As Microfinance Banks (MFBs) and other Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs) expand beyond credit to a broader array of financial products, there is need to provide their clients access to risk management solutions such as micro-insurance products in partnership with insurance companies.

"Commercial insurers in Nigeria need to leverage the rapid growth and development of MFIs to increase insurance density, penetration and overall contribution to the nation's Gross Domestic Products (GDP)," Ngwuta said.

To complement operators' efforts in this regard, the West Africa Business School, according to him, has introduced an annual micro-insurance training programme for practitioners and policy makers in insurance and micro-finance sectors of the economy.

The programme is designed to enhance the capacity of MFBs and other MFIs to serve as effective delivery channels for micro-insurance products and services for low income clients and micro-businesses.

The forum would provide opportunity for these institutions to network with insurance companies, exchange information and ultimately develop a working relationship for micro-insurance business and micro-business insurance, he said.

The renewed focus on micro-insurance, a term that captures low-cost insurance policies covering the lives, health, crops and property of the most vulnerable and provides social protection to people affected by natural disasters such as flood and drought, has pushed it above other issues in the insurance market globally.

This type of low-cost insurance covers the life, health, crops and property of the most vulnerable of the poor. It is also provides social protection to victims of natural disasters such as flooding and drought.

Majority of the potential consumers of micro-insurance services do not have any bank account and to deliver insurances to them, the operators have to first of all cross this hurdle.

Meanwhile, the Micro-insurance Network, an independent multi-stakeholder platform for individuals and organisations involved in micro-insurance has estimated that not less than a billion of the world's population would have access to micro-insurance services by the year 2020.

This forecast was made just as specialists confirmed that about 70 per cent of sub-Saharan Africans qualify for micro-insurance products and services.

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