Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Monday said the much awaited Health Insurance Scheme of the State would commence in early 2017, expressing readiness to partner with key players in the sector to use insurance to grow the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Lagos.
Speaking at the commissioning of the new WAPIC Insurance Corporate Head Office, located on Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, the Governor said there was no question about the strategic importance of insurance to any economy, saying that his administration was open to policies and initiatives that would make the sector to thrive in the State.
“The insurance business is here to stay and I want to also say that I give our government’s commitment to allow this sector to grow. I will like to partner and also learn how we can grow the GDP of Lagos through your industry. On our part, we know very clearly that early next year, we are going to start our Health Insurance Scheme and I just think that the drivers are the majority of the people who are seated here and it is important that we partner together and also learn together,” Governor Ambode said.
While challenging the key drivers of the insurance sector to come up with draft bill that would accelerate insurance business in Lagos, Governor Ambode said he was open to initiatives that would make the sector grow and contribute positively to the growth of the State.
He said there was great need for insurance for individuals and the legal regulatory framework to be explored and expanded with the view to ensure the growth of the sector, adding that it was important for government not to be left alone to handle all issues affecting or that should affect the sector.
He pledged the commitment of the State Government to continually identify and support organizations such as WAPIC Insurance to accelerate the efforts at creating the new Lagos of positive dreams, assuring that as a government, his administration would explore ways to create an enabling environment for businesses to thrive.
According to the Governor, “We are committed to introducing new incentives for businesses in Lagos to enable them grow and also support our society and take more of our youths off the street. The ease of doing business is of concern to us and as a result, we are working to improve the indices of doing business in Lagos, while we continue in our commitment to carry out judicial and security sector reforms.”
Besides, Governor Ambode congratulated the board and management of WAPIC Insurance for adding a beautiful edifice to the State, which he said had brought total change to the landscape of the entire Awolowo Road in Ikoyi.
He said the company had distinguished itself as one of the insurance companies that have pro-actively partnered with the State Government with insightful recommendation on key issues of governance and welfare of the people particularly in the areas of safety, security of lives and property through insurance such as relating to building collapse, fire accident, amongst others.
Earlier in his welcome speech, Chairman of WAPIC Insurance, Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede said from his trips across Africa, there has never been any public functionary like Governor Ambode who understands the importance of the insurance sector, saying that the knowledge came out of the deep understanding of economics and the fact that insurance is the most important economic sector of the world according to modern day reality.
He said insurance makes the world livable and cheaper, adding that the commissioning of the new building not only signpost the transformation of WAPIC Insurance, but also the transformation of insurance sector in Nigeria to take its rightful place.
Governor Ambode also received a donation of N20million on behalf of the Lagos State Security Trust Fund (LSSTF) from WAPIC Insurance.