Africa Re, IFC receive encomium on contributions to agric business

Matthew Otoijagha

Participants to the just concluded African Reinsurance Corporation and International Finance Corporation (IFC) Agriculture Insurance Workshop in Lagos, have poured encomium on the organizations for their contributions toward the growth of agriculture in Nigeria.

The participants who were drawn from different field of endeavors expressed their appreciation in an interview. They showered praises on the organizers of the program which ran from Monday December 2, to Friday, December 6, 2019 in FESTAC, Lagos.

According to them, the program really helped bring to the fore all that are needed to take agriculture business to lofty heights.

Head, Licensing & Regulations Insurance/Reinsurance Companies, National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) Mrs. Vera Aimufua, speaking on the programs, said it helped exposed the challenges faced by operators, in terms of index and weather based insurance programs, stressing that one of the take aways from the event was that there are still a lot of challenges to be addressed.

She noted that from interactions she had with delegates from insurance companies, it was observed that the support from the Nigeria Incentive- Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) still remains inadequate as there is still a lot of gaps to cover.

She posited that to achieve the set objectives in the agric space, the government and underwriters should work closely to ensure underwriters are not be left to burn their fingers, adding that stakeholders need to play the game according to the rules.

While applauding Africa Re and IFC for the program, she noted that there is need for them to organize more of such for operators to fully educate them on the new class of agric business.

She expressed optimism that the future of agric business underwriting looks bright, whilst aligning with the projection of having cover for over five million farmers in the next two years.

Head, Agriculture Insurance, AIICO Insurance Plc, Leonard Okereafor, said he is optimistic that the potentials in agric sector would be fully harness by underwriters.

He noted that with the lesson drew from the program, insurance operators licensed to do agric business will up their games, adding that having known how farmers and other stakeholders feel, there would not be any room for excuses going forward.

Head, Agribusiness, Royal Exchange Plc, Chukwuma Kalu, posited that the program was well done, as relevant stakeholders were brought together to share their experiences from their different stand points.

“It is really interesting for us to see things from a business stand point. It was a very good forum to educate us on different aspects of risk management and also looking at the real business. The program helped us understand how products could be designed and finance channeled appropriately.

He noted that the program is getting better, as the first round of the program organized by the IFC was in 2016 in Johannesburg, South Africa. According to him, the South Africa event was very technical and meant especially for insurers, factualists.

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