By Akeeb Alarape, Osogbo
Osun State Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has tasked insurance brokers to play a crucial role in efforts to revamp Nigeriaâ€™s ailing economy.
The governor stated this while declaring open the 2016 Chief Executive Officers’ retreat of Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers at Zenababs Half Moon Resort, Ilo Aiyegunle, Ilesa.
Represented by his Chief-of-Staff, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola, he tasked the body to work out modality that is capable of rescuing the country from its present economic challenges.
On the sorry state of the nation’s economy, Aregbesola suggested that the ways to liberate the country from its present state was for professional bodies to institutionalise strategies and map-out realistic economic policies to mitigate the situation.
He decried the mono-economic nature of Nigeria’s economy, saying all hands must be on deck to find possible solutions to the nation’s socio-economic, political and cultural challenges.
Aregbesola attributed the challenge facing the country to over-reliance on crude oil, stressing that if successive governments had brilliantly diversified the economy, Nigeria would not have suffered from the present economic calamity.
The Governor who reiterated that the nation is going through a tough economic situation, called on the members and leadership of (NCRIB) to come to the aid of the nation especially in rescuing over 27 states of the federation who are presently facing challenges in the payment of salary arrears.
He said, “Unknown to many is the fact that insurance, more than banking, actually drives the economy. When businesses are insured, it gives entrepreneurs the liberty to take informed risks, knowing that their backs are covered.
“Risk taking is critical to capitalism and the confidence that the business is insured, for most part, is the motive force of capitalism.
â€œHowever, beyond providing cover, the due diligence report and other expert report required by insurance firms ensure that actual risks are minimised.
“Insurance companies also help the economy with the provision of long term funds which are mostly invested in real estates and industrialisation”.â€Ž
The Governor charged the council to go back to the drawing board and come up with sustainable policies that would support the revival of the nation’s economy.
He noted that the fact that the nation is battling with unusual economic period, professional bodies whose expertise would have been deployed to cushion the effects failed to intervene in the nation’s economic challenges.
Aregbesola said the nation can no longer be traditional, just as the present economic situation calls for different approaches, affirming that insurance sector can really come to bailout Nigeria by forming a modality to do so.
According to him, “I am worried about the present economic situation in Nigeria because the professional bodies whose expertise would have been intellectually deployed to rescue the nation are shying away from such responsibility.
“Though the present economic situation is no more news, but one of the realistic ways to rescue the nation is for your council to go back to the drawing board and formulate workable policies to liberate the nation.
“The backlog of workers’ salaries being owed by some states could have been better relieved by your council if you have worked out a way of providing a long-term bond to the states.
“In assisting our economy on quick recovery, your council can for instance prepare a bond that would go a long way in rescuing some states who are presently being tormented with cash crunch in the payment of workers’ salary arrears and pensions.” Aregbesola stated.
The President, Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB), Mr. Emmanuel Kayode Okunoren commended Aregbesola for living up to the expectation in both human and infrastructural developments.
Okunoren who identified with the government on the effect of the present economic realities, however applauded Aregbesola for prudently and judiciously managing the meagre resources of the state for the betterment of her citizens.