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'Only 5 Percent of Nigerian Farmers Access Agric Insurance'

July 13, 2014

Chibuzor Emejor

Managing Director of Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation (NAIC), Bode Opadokun, said only five per cent of Nigerian farmers have access to agricultural insurance.

In an exclusive interview with Sunday Independent in Abuja, Opadokun, who quoted from the World Bank Report released early this year, said the level of penetration of agricultural insurance in the country is very low.

He explained that NAIC over the years has registered over 200,000 farmers, adding that Nigeria does not have reliable statistics that captures the exact number of farmers under insurance cover.

He blamed lack of awareness and enlightenment of farmers as being responsible for farmers' apathy to insurance.

He however explained that the statistics of farmers would be determined following the introduction of the Growth Enhancement Support Scheme of the Federal Government and the on-going verification of the registered farmers being carried out by NAIC in collaboration with Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and Cellulant.

This, he noted that registered farmers under the GES Scheme would be provided with insurance with a sum assured of N20,000 for every bag of fertiliser that they buy, adding that benefiting farmers would be expected to pay N300 as premium per bag of fertiliser.

Opadokun vowed to deploy information and communication technology to increase the level of agricultural insurance in the country, which would result in better service delivery.

As part of the measures to realise the goal, he stated that the training of the staff on ICT has begun in earnest, adding that building the capacity of the staff on ICT remains pivotal to the actualisation of the target.

According to him, "We are addressing that gradually, one of the ways we have been able to address that is through giving my colleagues a sort of re-orientation, making them to understand the primary objectives of setting up the corporation and to think out of the box.

"This attitude of government thing should cease from our way of doing things. Even the Steve Oronsanye Report recommended that we should be commercialised, whether we are fully commercialised or not, it is better that we start thinking and working as if we were , so that it will not be a shock to us by the time we are finally told that we have to run this place as a commercial outfit.

"So we are carrying out re-orientation and a little bit of internal restructuring in terms of putting the right staff on the right job so that we will be able to have better results for ourselves.

"Also as I have mentioned, we are going to improve our services through the use of the ICT. We are going to drive our business more through the use of technology.

"The reason being that when we look at the number of farmers, we cannot say we will successfully do one and one marketing with them. It is not doable. What we need to do is to come up with different means of distribution of insurance through the use of technology."

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Source: AllAfrica

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