Insurance stakeholders drawn from the private sector and the academia have advised Nigerians, including business owners, to subscribe to Takaful insurance as it remains the only ethical insurance that offers enormous benefits to all members of society.
Nigerians particularly players in the informal sector and women have been urged to embrace takaful insurance, as its ethical benefits offer respite that is capable of promoting larger financial inclusion.
This was the submission echoed at the Takaful workshop organized by Noor Takaful Insurance Limited recently in Ibadan, Oyo State, with stakeholders drawn from both the private sector and the academia.
The event titled: ‘Takaful: The Next Frontier For Insurance”, featured a panel session involving scholars, businessmen, religious leaders, as well as practitioners in the industry.’
Delivering his welcome remarks, Muhtar Bakare, chairman, Noor Takaful Insurance Limited, noted that the workshop was organized to deliberate on the role Takaful Insurance can play in managing the increasing level of uncertainties in the world by providing support when necessary and promoting collaboration and equity for the people.
He explained further that the Takaful model, which operates on the Sharia principles of empathy and fairness, offers an affordable window of inclusion to millions of Nigerians who have hitherto been excluded from the formal financial sectors of the economy.
“The Alternative Finance sector of which Takaful Insurance is a major sub-sector presents credible routes to stability through alternative models of economic management and alternative models of delivery of financial services to create more sustainable, more equitable and more inclusive growth”, he said.
In his keynote remarks, Kunle Sanni, chairman, Oyo State Muslim Community represented by Rasheed Attah, a lawyer explained that Takaful model remains the best insurance option for Nigerians as it is guided and regulated by ethics, equity and fairness as well as being regulated by the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM).
Also speaking, Aminu Tukur, vice-chairman, Noor Takaful Insurance Limited, stated that the company is excited to bring Takaful insurance to Ibadan, saying that it would continue to drive massive awareness for Takaful to the extent that it becomes widely acceptable among Nigerians including non-Muslims.
Tukur stated that the workshop has further helped deepen Nigerians’ understanding of what they stand to benefit from by subscribing to this kind of insurance.
Speaking during the panel session, Yeside Oyetayo, rector of CIFM, who attributed the challenges facing the insurance sector in Nigeria to include awareness and trust, disclosed that Takaful remains the alternative option for addressing such concerns given the ethics guiding its operations.
While commending Noor Takaful for their outstanding contribution to advancing the cause of ethical insurance in Nigeria, she urged the company to give priority attention to designing products for women, as this would help a great deal in driving financial inclusion.
“Statistics have shown that 67.8 percent of women in Oyo State are financially excluded. This is quite alarming because Ibadan women are known to be enterprising. I think Noor Takaful need to have insurance provided for women. In doing this, you need to do market research to find out what they truly need rather than coming up with generic products”, she said.
In his submission, Bada stressed the need for the company to ensure that the spirit of honesty and accountability, which guided its operation, remains upheld and imbibed as norms among the workforce.
On his part, Odukoya, who shared his experience patronizing Noor Takaful in the last two years, declared that the company had demonstrated a high level of transparency and professionalism in its dealings.
According to him, the company has raised the bar in the insurance market in Nigeria with the value and respect it has shown to its esteemed customers.
“I will recommend them to those that own businesses because they are transparent and professional in what they do”, he said.
Also speaking, Rilwan Sunmonu, managing director, Noor Takaful Insurance Limited, while dismissing the notion that Takaful was only available for Muslims, noted that its recent record revealed that over 35 percent of participants on board are non-Muslims.
He explained that though the industry is still confronted with trust challenges, the company remains committed to changing the narrative by ensuring it keeps to its promise.