Vanguard (Lagos)

8 April 2013

Nigeria: South-Easterners Embrace Takaful Insurance

Contrary to belief that Takaful insurance is solely for Muslims, reports have shown that South-Easterners who are predominantly Christians now have the highest subscribers' rate of the products.

The Vice-Chairman, Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN) Oyo State Chapter, Babatunde Omosola, who disclosed this at the 2013 Media Retreat Organised by CIIN, for members of National Association of Insurance Correspondents (NAICO) in Ibadan, said South-Easterners have embraced Takaful insurance products because of its simplicity.

He noted that though Takaful which means joint guarantee or share responsibility in Arabic, operates in accordance to Islamic laws, the products are designed to carter for Muslims and non- Muslims alike, adding that the products are meant to encourage saving culture and build capital, over a period of time to meet personal or business needs.

He said, "Under Takaful plan, you can save regularly for a fixed period that is convenient for you. The accumulated targeted amount can be used to fund obligations such as purchase of land, house, marriage or hajj. It could also be used to meet other long term financial objectives, such as retirement, children education, travelling expenses as well as expected commitment."

According to Omosola, reports have shown that in many countries, Takaful products have been bought by non-Muslims due to some of its attractive features, which are not offered under conventional insurance, adding that the implication of this trend is that there is a promising market and potential growth for Takaful business.

He said investment of Takaful funds is done in compliance with sharia law which prohibits gambling and profiteering and consumption of alcohol, including brewing alcohol, noting that the fund should not be invested into economic activities that negate Islam and sharia laws.

Meanwhile, President of CIIN Dr. Wole Adetimehin, said the institute has over the years remained focused in supporting the industry through building human capacity. He noted that aligning with the transformation agenda of the present government, the institute is poised to ensure that the insurance potentials in the nation are harnessed.

He called for the infrastructural development, adding that it is when the economy thrives people would buy more insurance products.

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