To forestall fire disaster in markets, the Kaduna State government has made fire insurance policy compulsory in all its major markets.

Governor Mallam Nasir El-Rufai made the disclosure while receiving the management team of the National Insurance Commission  (NAICOM) led by the Commissioner for Insurance, Mohammed Kari, who were on a courtesy to him in Kaduna.

NAICOM team were there to solicit cooperation and collaboration in enforcement of compulsory insurances which include fire insurance as one of the measures at deepening insurance penetration nationwide.

The Governor explained that the enforcement of the fire insurance was meant to  protect investments  and return the state to  its original position of commercial hub. 

El-Rufai,  who was represented by his Deputy, Bala Bantex, explained that much had been invested by both the private and public sectors in building markets in the state and therefore the need to relieve the government the burden of compensating  investors in the markets who  may lose their  investments  in event of fire disaster through insurance protection .

He said  the state government, has therefore enshrined in its policy, compulsory insurance against fire  for  markets  in the state.

The state’s decision in this regard no doubt followed incessant fire out breaks in major markets in the country where traders lost goods and properties worth millions of Naira.

El-Rufai commended the NAICOM team, for the  commission’s boldness  in enforcing  the compulsory insurances  describing the commission’s leadership as visionary  body .

Earlier in his remarks, the Commissioner for Insurance, Mohammed Kari,
informed  the governor that his team was in Kaduna  for the annual seminar for insurance journalists hosted by the commission to continually update the press of developments and initiatives in the insurance sector.

He said the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), is the statutory body established to regulate and supervise the Nigerian Insurance Industry, adding that the commission derives its regulatory and supervisory powers from the National Insurance Commission and Insurance Acts of 1997 and 2003 respectively.

He said: “As an agency of the federal government, the commission’s activities are coordinated from our headquarters in Abuja. Besides this, we currently have a control office in Lagos and four zonal offices in Kano, Enugu, Port Harcourt and Ilorin. New offices and branches are being considered now to ensure wider coverage and support to consumers and providers of insurance services”.

Kari, said NAICOM, had set out reforms needed to re-position the Nigerian Insurance Sector to effectively serve Nigeria’s growing population and most importantly the financially under-serviced low-income segment.

According to him, in keying into the federal government’s Financial System Strategy that visioned Nigeria of being a world’s top twenty economy by the year 2020, (FSS2020 development framework), the commission, had initiated the “Market Development and Restructuring Initiative” (MDRI) in 2009. 

He listed that the program has among its objectives, the promotion of public understanding of insurance; the building of confidence on the Nigerian Insurance Market, the enforcement and monitoring of compulsory insurances in Nigeria so as to grow premium income for the benefit of the Nigerian economy, thereby increasing insurance density and it’s contribution to Gross Domestic Product.

He stressed that having completed the first phase of execution which was devoted to awareness creation across the six geopolitical zones, the commission, is now at the verge of kick-starting the second phase of the MDRI project which is focused on implementation and enforcement of compulsory insurances across the country.