National Insurance Commission, Naicom has said the important of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, MSMEs to employment and economic growth cannot be hidden.
Naicom in collaboration with Star Sapphire foundation assembled start-ups in Kano to sensitise them about MSMEs and their benefits at a two workshop theme: ‘National Workshop on Micro Insurance and Takaful.
While declaring the workshop opened, the Commissioner for Insurance, Mr Sunday Thomas noted that MSMEs are important to employment and economic growth of Nigeria.
Giving the highlights of MSMEs, Thomas said they contributing 48 per cent to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) 96 percent of businesses and 84 percent of employment.
He said that Nigeria has over 37.7 million MSMEs, according to the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, and that for this reason, they could not simply be ignored, especially at a time when the government is looking for ways to address the twin problems of poverty and unemployment.
Also speaking, the Head of Micro Insurance unit of NAICOM, Hajiya Aisha Bashir said the main objective of the workshop was to enlighten start-ups on the need to have Micro Insurance.
Bashir however, noted that a key lesson learnt from the workshop was that although MSME operators in the state want Micro Insurance, but preferred Takaful, being interest-free and compliant with their religious beliefs.
She also stated that the awareness created at the workshop had prompted NAICOM to boost its awareness creation efforts and, would create micro Takaful insurance in order to pave way for MSMEs in Kano to benefit.
In his remarks, Alhassan Haruna, a Board Member of Star Sapphire said Kano has the highest number of MSMEs in the country, saying out of the 13 million population in the State, over eight million were engaged in businesses.
He said the workshop was organized to enlighten the small scale business owners about micro insurance, saying, “that was what informed the decision to start the sensitization campaign from Kano.
“A lot of business organizations have been invited in a bid to be enlightened on micro insurance because of the belief that most Muslims did not believe in the insurance, for religious reasons.
“But now Islamic scholars have raised awareness. People have now started to understand insurance’’, he said.