Over 38,518 moved RSA to another PFA

By Favour Nnabugwu


Over 38,518 workers moved from one Pension Fund Administrators, PFAs to anotherr PFAs and transferred N148.11bn in their Retirement Savings Accounts within one year.

The National Pension Commission revealed this in a report titled ‘Quarterly summary of Retirement Savings Accounts transferred by Pension Fund Administrators’.

PenCom according to the report said 12,681 workers transferred N47.78bn in the first quarter of 2021, compared to 2,799 workers who transferred N18.90bn in the same period of 2020.

The Commission stated thst 12,872 workers transferred N45.56bn in Q3 2021, up from 10,166 workers who transferred N35.89bn in Q2 2021.

According to PenCom, Section 13 of the Pension Reform Act 2014 empowers an RSA holder to transfer their RSA to any PFA of choice, not more than once a year.

“Effective transfer of RSAs from one PFA to another requires an accurate and reliable database as it is important to ensure that the pension assets transferred belong to the bona-fide RSA holders initiating the transfers,” it said.

PenCom noted that the opening of the RSA transfer window was delayed to ensure that robust IT infrastructure that would drive the process was put in place.

It said the process was finalised in June 2019 with the deployment of an enhanced contributor registration system for the pension industry.

The pension regulator said the ECRS incorporated extensive validations, controls and data requirements that would deliver high data integrity standards for the pension industry.

It said the upgrade of RSA holders’ details to meet the ECRS standards was, therefore, a prerequisite for RSA transfers.

Those who registered with various PFAs from inception of the Contributory Pension Scheme to June 2019 were required to get recaptured, it added.

Lanre Idris is Leadway Pensure MD

By Favour Nnabugwu


Foremost pension fund administrator in Nigeria, Leadway Pensure PFA Limited, has announced the appointment of Lanre Idris as its new Managing Director, heralding a new era in the company’s history.

This appointment follows the recent retirement of Ronke Adedeji, the erstwhile Managing Director, who steered the ship of the organisation for over a decade.

Foremost pension fund administrator in Nigeria, Leadway Pensure PFA Limited, has announced the appointment of Lanre Idris as its new Managing Director, heralding a new era in the company’s history.

This appointment follows the recent retirement of Ronke Adedeji, the erstwhile Managing Director, who steered the ship of the organisation for over a decade.

Ethiopian Airlines to resume using Boeing 737 MAX planes in February

By Favour Nnabugwu


Ethiopian Airlines plans to resume flying Boeing 737 MAX planes on its fleet in February 2022, saying it was satisfied with their safety, according to its chief executive.

In 2019, Ethiopian Airlines flight 302, a Boeing (BA.N) 737 MAX bound for Kenya, crashed six minutes after takeoff from Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, killing all 157 passengers and crew.

“Safety is our topmost priority …. and it guides every decision we make and all actions we take,” Tewolde Gebremariam said in a statement.

“We have taken enough time to monitor the design modification work and the more than 20 months of rigorous rectification process…our pilots, engineers, aircraft technicians, cabin crew are confident on the safety of the fleet.”

The best-selling, single-aisle airplane, which was grounded worldwide after two crashes killed 346 people in the space of five months, returned to service in late 2020

FG clears N16.67bn accrued pension rights for 2021 retirees

By Favour Nnabugwu


The Federal Government has released N16.67 billion for the payment of accrued pension rights to 2021 retirees of Treasury-funded Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs), under the Contributory Pension Scheme.

This was disclosed by the management of the National Pension Commission (PenCom) in a statement issued Wednesday in Abuja

“The National Pension Commission (PenCom) is pleased to announce the release of N16.67 billion by the Federal Government for the payment of Accrued Pension Rights to 2021 retirees of Treasury-funded Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs).

“The Federal Government had earlier settled all arrears of accrued pension rights payments to the verified and enrolled retirees up to December 2020”, said the National Pension Commission.

Also, the PenCom had received early this year the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari to pay outstanding pension liabilities of retirees of Treasury-funded Federal Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs).

This was sequel to PenCom’s submission to the President on the payment of some critical aspects of the outstanding pension liabilities of the Federal Government under the Contributory Pension Scheme.

Specifically, the President approved payment of outstanding accrued pension rights for verified and enrolled retirees of treasury-funded MDAs that retired but were yet to be paid their retirement benefits, as well as the backlog of death benefits claims due to beneficiaries of deceased employees of treasury funded MDAs.

Approval was also given for payment of 2.5 per cent differential in the rate of employer pension contribution for FGN retirees and employees which resulted from the increase in the minimum pension contribution for employers from 7.5 per cent to 10 per cent in line with Section 4(1) of the PRA 2014.

Sunu, Old Mutual, Sanlam, Allianz, NSIA in alliance with Ecobank in Bancaasurance

By Favour Nnabugwu


Five insurance companies are in alliance with Ecobank in Bancassurance to Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) across market of the bank

The five underwriting firms are Old Mutual; Allianz; Sunu, NSIA and Sanlam insurance companies

These customers will now benefit from the convenience of being able to access relevant solutions for all their insurance needs.

Ecobank Group Executive, Commercial Banking, Ms Josephine Anan-Ankomah, said a comprehensive suite of Bancassurance solutions, in partnership with some of the most reputable insurance service providers across Africa, makes us a one-stop financial services hub.

Furthermore, the resilience of SME businesses is enhanced through the effective risk transfer that Bancassurance provides, while our solutions also offer our valued customers the satisfaction of knowing that they will have some protection, having learnt from the painful experiences of COVID-19″.

The insurance products offered include Commercial Asset Insurance, Engineering insurance, Marine & Cargo insurance, Key Man insurance, Motor fleet Business Travel insurance, in addition to bespoke offerings such as Credit Insurance-Leasing, Credit Insurance-Invoice Discounting Without Recourse, and Agricultural Area Yield Insurance.

The Bancassurance service will be rolled out in phases, starting with Benin, Burkina Faso, Congo Brazzaville, Cote d’Ivoire, Gabon, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria, Tanzania, Togo, and Uganda. Ecobank Group’s 21 other affiliates will come onboard in the second phase.

Demand for Bancassurance services from SMEs across our markets has been on the rise as businesses seek to shake off the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic by looking for solutions to cushion themselves from similar occurrences in the future

Africa’s insurance industry is valued at about US$68 billion in terms of Gross Written Premium (GWP). Prior to COVID-19, the insurance market in Africa was expected to grow at compound annual growth rates (CAGRs) of 7 percent per annum between 2020 and 2025, nearly twice as fast as North America, over three times that of Europe, and better than Asia’s 6 percent.

This makes the continent the second-fastest-growing region for insurance globally after Latin America – thanks to steady economic growth in most countries and the underdeveloped insurance sector.

Kano-Maradi rail: Amaechi meets German Financing Advisory, visits Mota-Engil rail site in Portugal

By admin


Minister of Transportation, Rt Hon Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has met with the financing advisory for the construction of Kano-Maradi rail line, seeking a speed-up of the process to ensure construction begins as soon as possible.

In the meeting held at the Nigerian Embassy, Berlin with representatives of KfW-IPEX bank of Germany who are serving as an advisory in partnership with African Finance Corporation for the Kano-Maradi rail project, Amaechi stated that the ECAs (Export Credit Agencies) are free to come to Nigeria and become part of the process on ground to ensure that everything follows their recommenced practices and avert hiccups in the course of the project.

Following their concerns on resettlement of villages that may be impacted by the construction, Amaechi assured that Nigeria has laws in place for that and that the Ministry of Transportation ensured that the right of way was distant from the villages except in Kano where it is difficult to totally avoid the town.

“For us in the Ministry of Transportation, in choosing the right of way, we avoided communities. If we don’t do that, we’ll clear the entire Kano. Like in Lagos, we avoided communities and used the old line, because if we had to choose a different route we would pay billions. In fact, to even work from the old line, we paid 7 billion naira in compensations, not because the people had the right to the land, but because after 12 years and nothing is done it becomes their land and you just can’t chase them out. We still paid compensation, because the rail line was moribund. To eject them we still had to treat them as though they were the original owners of the land. We didn’t wait for Europe. That’s our law.

“In Kano-Maradi, we also took into consideration the people, we choose the right of way distant from the communities, which makes it even more expensive, because government will have to do access roads from the rail line into the communities. We did that because of environmental issues, but the Europeans want us to assume that there are people living along the route. There are none, apart from Kano.

“I don’t know what the law is in Europe in terms of your ESIA. We’ve taken the first step by giving notice, we have assessed the land. What we have not done is payment, because the payment is tied to the contract. On our part, we are ready. What I want to know is the next step to paying compensation, to know that the project is going on and that we can create employment.

The Managing Director/Global Head, Aviation Mobility and Transport, KfW-IPEX Bank, Dr Carsten Wiebers expressed belief that the Nigerian government will be able to manage the risk with pay back of the loan. He advised that the process of putting in place the consulting firms for the project should be sped-up to facilitate financing, while documentation of the process should be properly done.

“Given the fast timeline of 15months, I would recommend speeding up the process of putting in place the consulting companies and other terms of references are met to facilitate the financing. Of course the first level of requirement is your national regulation and law. You take care of that.

“What we are trying to do is create a bridge between your interests and the demands of the Export Credit Agencies, to guarantee we get an affordable loan for you. There has to be evidence of the working group in the areas where the rail would be (actual site) all the way to Kano to convince the decision makers of the ECAs.

“Personally I’m comfortable with your timeline. You dictate the speed of the construction with Mota-Engil. There needs to be an international representative on the site to avoid hiccups with the ECAs. The problem I think is documentation and communication. The process needs to be properly documented and certified,” Wiebers said.

The Director, Mobility and Transport, KfW-IPEX Bank, Sylvia Sedlacek, assured that a consortium of consultants are already working on the ESIA and would come up with the report soon, while a working group has been formed and is in talks with the Nigerian Ministries of Environment, Transportation and Housing on the Environment and social study of the are.

On his part, Nigerian Ambassador to Germany, Yusuf Tuggar explained that the Ministry of Environment in Nigeria started as the Environmental protection agency which also came about through conventions and series of stakeholders meetings, locally and internationally. So they are naturally inclined to abide by the regulations.

Earlier, the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi with a team from the Ministry and officials of the Nigerian Embassy in Portugal toured a major rail project site by Mota-Engil to ascertain their capacity to construct the Kano-Maradi rail within the stated timeframe of 15 months.

The project, ‘Corredor International Sul – Ligação Freixo/Alandroal’ also known as Evora line is a 78km rail project to unite the Port of Sines all the way to Spain. The 20km extension being handled by Mota-Engil has 10 bridges, one of which is a 600m Bridge – the longest in the line, 11 overhead bridges (over passage), 5 underpasses (1 for cars, finished within 2 days of nonstop work, and a total of 800 workers on the project.

The site Engineer, Luis Mota explained that the project of that magnitude is one of the fastest within 19 months.
Amaechi however demanded that the Kano-Maradi project be faster as it is an EPC, “by now you should have finished your backend engineering and design,” he said. Amaechi further called for a meeting in Abuja in the first week of January to identify all the challenges and ensure that the contractor follows the plan.

At the Nigerian Embassy in Lisbon, the Ambassador, Alex Kefas expressed joy that the country is moving forward. According to him, “I have never seen massive railway projects in Nigeria until he (Amaechi) became Minister. We are grateful he is doing very well. We just finished a meeting with the secretary of internalisation which will help in boosting our bilateral relations. At the bilateral meeting, they assured us of their support in achieving this project (Kano-Maradi).

“I recently paid a courtesy call on Mota-Engil at their Headquarters in Porto and they paid a courtesy call to me here at the embassy. I assured them of speedy visa issuance to ensure that the project in Nigeria is completed speedily,” he said.

Both the Minister and the Ambassador were at the Portuguese foreign ministry for bilateral talks and both nations agreed to be of help to one another. The Portugese Secretary of State for Internalisation affairs, Mr. Eurico Brilhante Dias assured the Minister of Portugal’s support and cooperation to ensure that the project by Mota-Engil is completed without hitches.

FG declares Monday, Tuesday and Monday holidays for Xmas, New year

By Favour Nnabugwu

The Federal Government of Nigeria has declared Monday and Tuesday after Christmas public holidays for the Christmas and Monday for the new year celebrations.

The Government of Nigeria has declared Monday 27th, Tuesday 28th December 2021 and Monday, 3rd January 2022 as public holidays to mark Christmas, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day celebrations respectively.

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior, Shuaib M.L. Belgore, in a statement, said the Minister, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, made the declaration on behalf of the Federal Government.

Aregbesola on behalf of the FG felicitates with Christians and all Nigerians at home and in the Diaspora on this year’s Christmas and New Year celebrations.

Aregbesola also enjoined Christians to practice the doctrines of Christ, which include but not limited to these – faith, hope and love.

“We must emulate the life of Jesus Christ in His practice and teachings on Humility, Service, Compassion, Patience, Peace and Righteousness, that His birth signifies.

“This will be the best way to portray Christ and celebrate his birth”, he noted.

Aregbesola emphasized that peace and security are two critical conditions for economic development and prosperity.

He urges Christians and Nigerians to make the best use of this festive period to pray for the total eradication of insecurity bedevilling our dear nation.

Aregbesola also strongly charges Nigerians not to be lulled into a false sense of security on COVID-19 pandemic but to note that it is increasingly assuming a very dangerous and harmful dimension with the emergence of a virulent variant, Omicron.

“This calls for deliberate responsibility and discipline on the part of all”, Aregbesola said.

He enjoins all to adhere strictly to and observe all the stipulated non-pharmaceutical protocols and guidelines such as wearing of facemasks, frequent washing of hands with soap and water, using of hand sanitizer and avoidance of large groups.

Aregbesola also urged quick report to medical authorities of any respiratory illness observed in self and others before, during and after the Yuletide.

Aregbesola said this Yuletide calls for spartan discipline in order to prevent the spread of the virus in our community and the nation as a whole.

Aregbesola says “Moderately celebrate the festival without large groupings and observe all the protocols stipulated by medical authorities.

“Take it as a point of personal responsibility to prevent the spread of the virus”.

The Minister also assures that the Government has put in place effective measures for the security of lives and property and expects Nigerians to support the efforts of security agencies by providing useful information that will assist them in the performance of their duties.

NCRIB admits 99 new Associates. … underscores need for ethics, resourcefulness


L- New Inductee Jide Bello, Legal Manager of The Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB), Mrs Adekemi Adegbola; Mr. Lateef Sanusi; NCRIB President, Mr Rotimi Edu, mni; NCRIB Deputy President, Mr Tunde Oguntade; Vice President, Mrs Ekeoma Ezeibe and Laitan Iyanda at the induction of new Associates of The NCRIB in Lagos.


By Favour Nnabugwu


The Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers, NCRIB, has admitted 99 new Associated as they embrace ethics and resourcefulness of the body in order to remain relevant in the insurance value chain.

The President of the Council, Mr. Rotimi Edu, mni, while admitting the new members admonished them to be open to new ideas and consolidate their positions in the insurance broking profession as the most valuable link in the insurance value chain.
Edu said that the Associates admission which was consistent with Section 5 (1) of NCRIB Act No 21 of 2003 was meant to grow capacity of Insurance Brokers in the market as well as open window of expression of their professional expertise as Insurance Brokers.

Said he: I admonish you to give yourselves to learning as insurance professionals and keep your minds open to new ideas required of a contemporary insurance professional in order to meet the increasing sophistication and changing demands of insurance clients.

The NCRIB President noted that the aspiration of the Council was to be renowned as a league of reputable Brokers in Nigeria, rendering valuable and satisfactory services to clients and opined that the present leadership of the Council was poised to give a positive and admirable narrative to members through its “Brokers-Centrism” initiatives.

In induction lectures that were earlier delivered, Mr. Shola, a Past President of the Council counseled the new members to always look after the interest of their clients and that this should reflect in their relationship with insurance companies so as to remain relevant.

Similarly, the Vice President of the Council, Mrs. Ekeoma Ezeibe gave insights into the standards of practice and ethics of the Council and advised the new members to subscribe to the highest standards of professionalism , moral and professional conduct at all times.

NCAA reinstates Emirates 21 weekly flight slots, confirms Air Peace 7 slotd

By Favour Nnabugwu



The federal government, through the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, yesterday reinstated the weekly 21 flight slots earlier approved for Emirates airline.

The reinstatement came after NCAA confirmed that the Dubai airport authority actually approved 7 flight slot weekly for Nigeria Air Peace airline.

The Director General, NCAA, Captain Musa Nuhu in a letter dated yesterday, December 21, 2021and copied to Nigeria Aviation Minister, Hadi Sirika, Director General of General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) in Dubai, UAE and addressed to the country manager of Emirates airline, stated that the approval was given in the wake of consultations with stakeholders and the letter from Dubai Civil Aviation Authority with reference number DCAA/ASA/N-3.016 dated 17 December, 2021 offering Air Peace airline daily slots at Dubai Airport.

Captain Nuhu said : ”Following further consultations with various stakeholders and the letter from Dubai Civil Aviation Authority with reference number DCAA/ASA/N-3.016 dated 17 December, 2021 offering Air Peace airline daily slots at Dubai Airport, I wish to inform you of the reinstatement of the ministerial approval of Emirates Airline Winter schedule.”

“This approval is predicated on the compliance with the Dubai Travel Protocol as released by Dubai airport on Friday 26 November, 2021 as it affects passengers travelling from Nigeria to UAE. Please be guided accordingly”, the letter added.
Recall the Dubai authority last week sent a letter to Nigeria Air Peace airline granting them permission and 7 slots into the Dubai airport after refusing the airline the initial 3 slots into Sharjah it requested for.

The NCAA had hinted that the Ministry of foreign affairs was in the process of verifying the letter sent to Air Peace before any action could be taken about resumption of flights between the two countries . It had also promised that once confirmation is done, Nigeria will reach a decision on flight resumption.

Flights between Nigeria and Dubai had been suspended since March following Dubai discriminatory covid-19 protocol.

Can MFIs do more to unlock health insurance

By admin



The Landscape of Microinsurance 2021 shows that health insurance is the fastest growing segment of the data studied, jumping from fifth to first in successive years.

That’s perhaps not particularly surprising, given the COVID-19 pandemic, although it is still too early to say whether short-term heightened awareness of health risks will drive a longer-term increase in uptake of health microinsurance. What is surprising, however, is that many microfinance institutions (MFIs) appear to be reluctant to take advantage of a trend which could benefit themselves, their clients and wider society.

The Landscape Study suggests that while health microinsurance has been growing for several years, it has now taken over from life and credit life as the ‘starter’ product of choice for insurance providers looking to enter the low-income market. As the report notes, “The appeal of health insurance has only increased as COVID-19 has raised consumers’ awareness of health risks.” Of the different health insurance products reported, the study finds that hospital cash products are the biggest seller “partly because they are simple to administer with relatively low costs, and partly because providers find that they resonate with low-income clients.”

Yet research by the ILO’s Impact Insurance Facility – admittedly carried out pre-pandemic – suggests that only around one in five MFIs offer health insurance products to their clients. “Even before Covid, the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimated that 100 million people are pushed into extreme poverty every year by catastrophic health shocks, and the number is probably higher now because of Covid,” says ILO Technical Specialist Lisa Morgan. “That has a huge societal impact.”

Given the surge in demand for affordable health insurance products, a panel discussion during the recent European Microfinance Week asked whether MFIs were seemingly being left behind. “Developing health solutions can be a triple win for clients, society and MFIs,” says Morgan. “Keeping your clients and their families healthy makes business sense because there is a direct link between health and wealth. If you have good health you can work and you can be productive. If MFIs can keep their clients healthy it is ultimately good for their business.”

According to one analysis by the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation, ADA and Inpulse, more than 80% of MFIs had difficulties collecting repayments and disbursing loans in 2020, and almost every MFI reported an increase in their portfolio at risk.

Data from the 2021 Impact Finance Barometer shows that although MFIs ended 2020 with a total gross loan portfolio (GLP) of USD 159.9 billion, year-on-year growth was just 2%, compared to 12.4-16.3% in 2017-19. Faced with the urgent need to recover lost income, some MFIs – which have traditionally offered only credit life insurance to protect loan repayments in the event of a client dying – are now beginning to see the sense of offering health products as well.

“We have seen MFIs introducing health insurance because it’s one of the biggest risks their clients face, and it’s one of the risks that causes people to struggle to repay their loan,” says Richard Leftley Executive Vice President at the Micro Insurance Company. “Health is probably in the top three reasons why someone would get an unexpected bill which might then mean they were unable to meet a loan repayment. So we are starting to see a drive to include health in credit loan cover.”

A recent ILO briefing paper recommends that for maximum impact, MFIs should bundle together a number of different health-focused products and services – for example by combining access to government health schemes with health savings accounts or bundling with simple hospital care products. Value-added products such as telemedicine, health education, or reward schemes to incentivise healthier behaviour could all help MFIs take advantage of a growing market.

“It’s a natural extension for MFIs to offer health insurance,” says Leftley. “Health insurance is the one product their clients are going to use. Unlike credit life insurance – which is really there to benefit the lender – in many cases health insurance can benefit the client while they are still alive, and it can also benefit the MFI in those cases where a person has spent all their money on hospital visits instead of repaying their loan.”

Private sector partnerships could be one way to help MFIs offer health products – but that means public sector financing to help insurance companies de-risk in the market place. “The trend is for MFIs to partner with private sector, for-profit organisations so they can offer down-market products,” says Sitara Merchant, CEO at the Swiss Capacity Building Facility. “But the problem is there simply isn’t any funding at SDG [Sustainable Development Goals] level. You’ve really got to start pulling and pushing the private sector to come and partner with MFIs. Insurance companies, telcos and insurtechs all need funding to de-risk products on the market so they can achieve scale.”

Given that impact investors are increasingly focused on basic services for the most vulnerable – the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) 2020 investor impact survey reports that 49% of impact investors are targeting healthcare, second only to food and agriculture – it would seem logical that MFIs should have little problem accessing private sector finance in order to scale up their health insurance offers. Yet the same report shows that only 8% of impact investors surveyed invested in microfinance during 2020, which may reflect an increased trend to invest more in line with the SDGs.

That’s not to say that all MFIs are lagging behind when it comes to going beyond simple hospital cash products to offer innovative health insurance tailored to specific local needs. For example, BBVA Microfinance Foundation (BBVAMF), which operates MFIs across five countries in Latin America, has in recent years started offering health cover ranging from serious illnesses like Alzheimer’s and cancer to family wellbeing. In Colombia, one of BBVAMF’s MFIs offers health products specifically for women with premiums starting at just EUR 0.40 a month.

Recognising the debilitating health and income impacts of specific diseases – as well as the greater risk they pose to low-income consumers in emerging markets – a number of insurance companies have started offering disease-specific policies such as Pioneer in the Philippines, whose Medicash Dengue and Medicash Leptospirosis provide a cash benefit even if the patient doesn’t require hospital treatment. In some countries including China and India, low-cost health insurance protects against common but potentially catastrophic accidents such as dog and snake bites.

For now, however, hospital cash remains the most popular product in an increasingly diverse health microinsurance sector. “We’ve seen an evolution in terms of low-cost health products since they first stared to appear in the mid-2000s,” says Leftley. “First there were cashless models which provided access to a number of hospitals, then came capitation models in which a flat fee is paid per patient. Now we’ve ended up with hospital cash, which is cheap and flexible.”

“Over time we have landed on hospital cash as being a kind of happy equilibrium between something which offers enough client value but is also sustainable from a business point of view,” agrees Morgan. “From a health actuarial point of view, hospital cash is a much easier product to price – and it’s easy to scale up, unlike other health products which can quickly become unaffordable. It’s extremely difficult to offer more comprehensive health products without subsidy.”

Ultimately, it may be competition which pushes MFIs into offering more and better health microinsurance. In highly saturated markets such as East Africa or South-east Asia, MFIs cannot afford to compete simply by cutting interest rates or increasing maximum loan size – particularly in a risky post-pandemic economic environment.

In future, they will need to attract customers by offering added value, and health insurance could be one way for them to do that. In Africa, where MFIs make up nearly a quarter of all microinsurance distribution channels, failure to seize this opportunity will see them lose ground to more entrepreneurial distributors such as mobile network operators and insurtechs.

According to Richard Leftley, larger MFIs are already taking this on board. “Offering something which their competitors can’t offer seems to be one of the drivers for introducing health insurance products,” he says. “Most of the large MFIs are adopting it, and some of the most progressive are also offering health insurance as a stand-alone product so that once the loan is repaid, a client can opt to continue with their health cover.”

As the ILO concludes, healthy and economically active clients are more likely to earn and save more, and therefore repay their loans. Offering health microinsurance should be more than just an after-thought for MFIs, or they will risk being left behind.