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Folashade Joseph, the insurance woman driving food security from NAIC

One of the ways through which the government endears itself to its citizens, is by providing adequate food security. There is a popular saying that a hungry man is an angry man. This establishes the fact that no meaningful development can take place in a community where the people are poorly fed, as malnourishment undoubtedly results in poor health which affects productive capability of people.

If there is anything that the Government of President Muhammadu Buhari deserves an accolade for, I think it is in the area of agriculture which is basically to ensure food security in the country. The deliberate and concerted efforts pumped into this critical sector should be highly commended.

Against this background, it is important that while farmers are being encouraged to increase their yields, the risks associated in ensuring the increase in yields is being secured by the government owned agricultural insurance corporation, the Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation (NAIC). NAIC was established as a social scheme to ensure food security, job creation, wealth establishment for farmers and agribusiness practitioners across the full value chain of the agribusiness.

It is in recognition of this important task that the President deemed it well by appointing Folashade Joseph as the MD/CEO of NAIC on the 10th of April, 2017. Recognizing the onerous task ahead upon assumption of office, she swung into action by bringing together all critical stakeholders in the agribusiness sector of the economy. Farmers, co-operatives, commodity associations, corporate organizations, financial institutions, the Central Bank of Nigeria and all other stakeholders came together with her amazing leadership style which has resulted in the significant progress recorded in the agricultural sector of the Nigerian economy.

Her amazing leadership style since her appointment has resulted in the prompt settlements of claims. To this end, the majority of farmers and those who had claimed settlement with NAIC, have expressed confidence and satisfaction in the way matters are handled, there is however a huge increase in the confidence level of farmers patronizing NAIC because of them believing that it can now effectively handle their risks.

It is in recognition of her numerous achievements in four years that Mr. President has re-appointed her for another four years effectively on the 11th of April, 2021 to consolidate her developmental strides in NAIC in particular and the agricultural sector of the nation’s economy in general.

Coming from the private sector, Folashade Joseph is a thoroughbred professional who knows her onions in the corporate world. As a board room guru, she is an exception in a male dominated business environment. She has proved her mettle hence the bold confidence reposed in her by the President to continue her good works for another four years. She has been able to take NAIC to an enviable height that has made the corporation a force to be reckoned with.

There are a lot of things that she has been thinking and working on because agriculture is re-evolving. The corporation is working on increasing the revenue for insurance, having started weather index insurance and livestock index insurance to match with the re-evolving agriculture trends, and benefiting to more farmers.

In her words “As agriculture becomes our main attraction in the country, so many businesses will come along the line. So many lines of production, and of course, risks that we did not know as at yesterday will come up today”.

Product development is a continuous thing in NAIC, there were challenges in the past, there are challenges now which she is assiduously working on to surmount. Herdsmen-farmers clashes is an issue that is prevalent across the country and she is actually working on ways to address these challenges, on both angles, the herdsmen and the farmers.

Folashade Joseph sits atop a business empire that has made the corporation give coverage to agricultural projects worth over N6.8 billion investments across the country since inception. On losses and compensation, under her leadership NAIC has also paid out over 4 billion naira as claims to farmers of various classes from inception to date, the recent being a N848 million insurance claim in the 2020 pandemic year alone.

With the corporation’s various insurance products like the subsidized crops insurance, commercial crops insurance, subsidized livestock insurance, commercial livestock insurance, combined agricultural produce and investment policy and area yield index insurance,she has been able to bring in and work with professionals in the corporation to see that the best of servicesis rendered to the insuring public.

The only challenge facing her tenure which she is working to change the narrative is the low awareness of insurance products and penetration, this she is continuously doing to change with the constantsensitization programs and workshops the corporation has been doing in educating farmers in various states to understand these agricultural insurance products. The sensitization programs have been going on across the six geographical zones of the country and tremendous success have been recorded so far.

She is such a good human resource Manager with a resounding human relation that anyone who has come across her can attest to. Folashade Joseph is a matured woman, watching and listening to her contributions at meetings will tell you she is not your regular MD/CEO. Her matured contributions to issues are admirable. Her presentations are enviable while her approach to topical sensitive national issues is captivating. These and more we hope to see as she continues her second term in office effective 11th of April, 2021.

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