By Chinyere Joel-Nwokeoma
AIICO Insurance Plc, on Wednesday launched its new product aimed to strengthen the agricultural sector.
Mr Edwin Igbiti, AIICO Managing Director said at the launch of the `AIICO Agriculture insurance’ in Lagos that it would boost agriculture production, economic development and employment rate in the country.
Igbiti said the move was in response to the dire need for adequate insurance in protecting investments in agricultural sector having obtained approval from the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM ) to underwrite agriculture insurance.
He said the company was uniquely positioned to offer agriculture insurance to Nigerian farmers at all levels and investors looking to tap into the huge potentials of the sector, through its value-based insurance propositions.
“AIICO is taking strategic position to be a major player in offering agriculture insurance in order to deliver the much needed protection to the different players in the agriculture value chain.
“The company’s competitive edge is hinged on its understanding of the exact needs of farmers through the application of knowledge and expertise in this line of insurance business,’’ Igbiti said.
He noted that for over two decades, agriculture insurance in Nigeria was solely dominated by government owned insurance companies.
“However, around 2011, NAICOM took a significant step of opening up the space to privately owned insurance companies in order to bridge the gaps and strengthen agriculture insurance in Nigeria.
“Even with this step, not many operators are willing to play in the Agric Insurance space for obvious reasons,” he said.
According to him, active participation of insurance companies would be required to deliver the much needed protection to the farmers and other stakeholders in agricultural sector in terms of risk being experienced by them.
The managing director said that the company decided to come in as one of insurance leader in taking strategic position to be a major player in offering agriculture insurance.
He said that the company would deliver the much needed protection to different players in agricultural sector and other value chain.
“AIICO Insurance is uniquely positioned to offer both indemnity and index based agricultural insurance product to Nigeria farmers at all levels as well agricultural sector investors looking to tap into the potential of the sector,’’ Igbiti said.
He said that the bold step taken by the company in introducing full array of agricultural insurance products offering to the market would support the initiatives and interventions of government and non-governmental organisations.
Igbiti, however, called on stakeholders to partner and support the company’s initiative so as to deliver value to farmers in all agricultural chain.
Mr Abdulhammed Aliyu, Managing Director, Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), commended AIICO Insurance for the initiative aimed at reducing unemployment rate.
Aliyu said that the product would reduce risk associated with farming and would enhance agricultural development.
Aliyu, represented by Mr Babajide Arowosafe, Executive Director, Technical, said that agriculture was an essential part of socio-cultural heritage with high potential in employment generation, security and poverty reduction.
He said that NIRSAL would work effectively with AIICO Insurance to move agriculture sector to its next level with the agriculture insurance product.
Aliyu noted that it would be difficult for government and private sector interventions to thrive without an agriculture insurance product. (NAN)