Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has said that the way to improve citizens’ life expectancy, tackle the alarming rate of poverty and ameliorate the effect of disasters in the society is to embrace insurance as a risk management mechanism. This was even as the said that the state is set to partner the Nigerian insurance industry to improve the wellbeing of the people by protecting their lives and material assets against unforeseen losses.
The Governor said that the state needed the support of the insurance industry and particularly the insurance brokers in the conception of sustainable health insurance scheme, not only for the elite, but all citizens of the state.
Sanwo-Olu who was represented by the Deputy Governor of the State, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, said, “our insurance operators need to find a way to get people better informed, not just the rich and the educated people”.
Speaking on the unfortunate fire incident that happend in Lagos recently, he said, “you will be surprised that 80 to 90 per cent of our people do not have insurance. We cannot build a system; neither can we build a state that is sustainable without insurance and effective risk mitigation devices”.
He adduced low life expectancy in Nigeria to poor health insurance scheme. According to him, “as a people, we know that our life expectancy is 52 years. Libya, after series of war, still has life expectancy of 78 years, so what is wrong? To me, it is lack of insurance; we do not have health insurance. And that goes for everything”, he pointed out.
“When people lose their house, or in case of any other disaster, they have to start all over again. We are one disaster away from homelessness and poverty. It seems to me that the industry should put heads together and see the way we can get all those people into insurance circle. We must institutionalise the culture of insurance”.
Also speaking at the event, the President of the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB), Dr. (Mrs.) Bola Onigbogi, reminded the state government as well as existing and potential insurance clients about the place of Registered Insurance Brokers in all insurance arrangements.
Onigbogi leveraged the opportunity to commiserate with those who lost their valued properties in the fire that gutted some houses at Martins Street in Lagos and the market fire that occurred in Kaduna recently.
“It is quite sad to see what individuals laboured for going in flames. This catastrophic event provides an avenue to call on all and sundry to imbibe insurance for protection of their valued properties. As the common saying in our Council goes “Whatever is worth having is worth insuring!
“The government also has a responsibility to always encourage and enforce compulsory insurance, especially as it relates to valuable assets so as to mitigate losses when they occur. There is no amount of palliatives given by government and well-meaning individuals after a loss that could succor a loss like insurance would do,” she noted.