Insurance, pension identified as instrument to mitigate election risk

Matthew Otoijagha

Insurance and pension have been identified as reliable instruments to mitigate risks that stem from elections, particularly as the 2019 beckons.

Experts, who gathered at the Peninscope Public Lecture, Awards 2018, in Lagos, stated this, adding that election year is often characterized with risks such, as job lost, damage of properties, deaths, low investments and more. They therefore, urged the public to leverage insurance and pension to secure their lives; businesses and properties.

The Managing Director, Sterling Assurance Limited, Fatai Lawal, who was the Lead Speaker at the event, implored the public to secure their lives and properties with the various arrays of products being paraded by insurance companies. According to him, insurance remains the best tool to mitigate risks associated with elections.

Director Inspectorate, National Insurance Commission, Barineka Thompson, said insurance has continued to help mitigate risks suffered by individuals who have policies, stressing that in this year, insurance companies have paid over N138 billion as claims to policyholders who suffered losses.

He urged the public to embrace insurance, adding that the industry regulator – NAICOM – will continue to ensure policyholders are adequately protected.

Acting Director-General, National Pension Commission (PenCom) Mrs. Aisha Dahir Umar, urged the public to embrace the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) which within a short period of existence has accumulated assets worth N8.3 trillion.

She said the CPS has impacted the economy in many ways, stressing that it serves as a form of social security; helped deepened the nation’s financial market; provided jobs and employments; stimulates real estate development amongst other things.

She also used the avenue to drum the need for people in the informal sector to subscribe to the micro pension scheme which will commence next year. According to her, micro pension will help expand coverage of pension contributors to 20 million in 2019 and 30 million by 2024.

Umar noted that PenCom is presently working on the information technology infrastructure that will support the launch of micro pension scheme. She added that with the implementation of the scheme, people under the informal sector could save in an account and receives the benefits when the money is invested and protected under legislation instead of putting money under the mattresses.

Director-General, Lagos State Pension Commission (LASPEC), Mrs. Folashade Onanuga, called on NAICOM and PenCom to embark on aggressive awareness campaign this time, to educate the public on risks associated with elections.

According to her, the aftermaths of the elections may impact people negatively, stressing that there may be job loss, death, damage of properties due to the election, adding that the public needs to be educated on how they can handle these risks with insurance and pension.

She urged employers to at this time ensure their employees are covered under the contributory pension scheme, which provides a secure future for workers, adding that employees who may lose their jobs due to the election can fall back on pension to continue their lives.

Onanuga implored regulators not to go to sleep, but should leverage all available media platforms and avenues to educate the public on risks before them and how they can mitigate them. She called on pension and insurance operators to be creative this time around to see that needs of the public are timely met.

The organizers of the event also used the avenue to reward companies and individuals who distinguished themselves in the year with awards.

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