Commissioner for Insurance, Sunday Thomas, has called for strong institutional collaboration to promote insurance activities in Africa as the African insurance market is in dire need of serious collaboration and synergy now than in other time in the past.
Thomas, in his remarks at the investiture of Mr. Tope Smart as the 23rd President of the African Insurance Organisation, AIO, which held in Lagos, Nigeria, said Africa must look inward to make an impact.
According to him, “time has passed that we rely on foreign or international support from the west and other super powers as the world at large is overwhelmed by so many issues. Developing the insurance markets across Africa is no longer a choice but a necessity.
“Not only in Nigeria that there is huge growth potential in insurance, but is over Africa that we can unite and develop insurance business there is a lot our governments will get economically.”
Thomas said that the sector should take advantage of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), which provides an avenue to foster unity and integration within the Africa region.
The commissioner for insurance, said the agreement also provided an avenue for achievement of a common market for goods and services; guaranteeing free movement of human resources, investment and technology.
He also charged the new leadership of AIO to cap it by consistently persuading the governments across the continent to play their roles in providing the necessary support, creating an enabling environment for insurance activities to flourish.
“Let me charge the new leadership that by the year 2022, the AIO will celebrate its Golden Jubilee (50 years) being established in 1972, which means you can also write your achievements in gold for coming on board at this critical time. We expect to see great stride and landmark achievements when your tenure is over and the baton will change hands.
“I will like to thank the entire organising committee for a job well- done. I urge member states, management and staff of the AIO to give the incoming President the necessary support and encouragement he requires from them in his tenure.
“I pledge the support of the Nigerian insurance industry to your success as President of the AIO. I wish the outgoing President, a woman general in time of war, who has done extremely well a well deserved rest on the successful completion of her tenure.
“Mr. Tope Smart, I pray that God will give you the strength and wisdom to build on existing legacies of the AIO and create new opportunities for the African insurance market as you take over the leadership ” prayed Thomas