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37 million businesses not insured in Nigeria - Ogbeide



Executive Director of Star Sapphire Foundation, Mr. Amu Ogbeide has expressed concern that the 37 million small and medium scale (SMEs) businesses in Nigeria are not insured.

Ogbeide disclosed this at a two-day national workshop on micro insurance and Takaful held in Abuja. He blamed the situation on the appalling level of poverty and unemployment in the country, saying it was incumbent on small-scale business owners and entrepreneurs to insure their businesses.

He expressed his outfit’s readiness to sensitise SMEs as part of ongoing effort to mitigate challenges faced by the sector in the country.

He said: “What we thought about was, how do we support small businesses in Nigeria? We realised that 96 per cent of our businesses are actually micro. They are the akara, corn sellers, mama put and butchers, among others, who actually make up the Nigerian SMEs.

“If only we can support that sector, Nigeria will become better. One barbing salon will employ two people and the akara woman will employ one girl. So, at the end of the day, those small businesses are the engine of Nigeria’s growth. And that is why we feel we should come together and work with them.

“It is common in recent time to hear that there was a fire outbreak and everybody’s shop got burnt, there was a protest and everything got destroyed or somebody broke into somebody’s shop and s/he lost 100 per cent of all s/he had.

“But it is not supposed to be that way. Insurance is a way to recover assets. If somebody steals your small goods and you call insurance, they give you back your money. So, we decided to organise a workshop to sensitise micro, the very small businesses in Nigeria.

“If your business is worth N10, 000, N20, 000, we say come and learn how to pay small money and the insurance will cover you for one year. So, if anything like fire or burglary happens to your business, the insurance company will come in…

“There is another aspect we call ethical insurance. They call it takaful. It is a kind of insurance that involves a pooling system. It is a contributory scheme and at the end of the year, you can get some money back, unlike the other regular insurance where you pay your premium yearly…” Theguardianng

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