By Patience Saghana
ABUJA â€” Against the backdrop of the global financial crunch, Nigeria is the only country in the world with the highest return on investment.
Making this disclosure in Abuja yesterday was Mr Remi Babalola, Finance Minister at the 31st African Reinsurance Corporation Annual General Meeting.
According to him, â€œWith the financial crisis biting hard all over the world, Nigeria is still the highest in return on investment.â€
Even at that, the Finance Minister still believed that insurance industry could improve on its contribution to the growth of the countryâ€™s economy.
He said, â€œIt is my firm belief that the insurance industry can andÂ should contribute more to the economic development of African continent and the individual national economies by making insurance more credible and more attractive to our peopleâ€.
â€œHere in Nigeria, we began a process of strengthening and repositioning our insurance sector a couple of years ago by rationalising and recapitalising insurance companiesâ€.
It is our hope that the reform efforts will benefit from some of the good practices of Africa Reinsurance Corporation and those of other shareholder nations within the context of the new Partnership for Africaâ€™s Development (NEPAD) and the Peer review Mechanism.â€
In his own view, Mr Musa Alnaas, Chairman of Africa Re argued that the sacrifices of the corporation’s shareholders and member nations were not in vain as the African reinsurer had grown from strength to strength.
He said, â€œ The sacrifices were not in vain, as having commenced operations in January 1978 with an authorised capital of USD4.6million and recorded premium income of USD3.5million at the end of the first financial year, African Re has grown to premium income of USD401million with shareholdersâ€™ funds of USD223million and a net profit of USD20.6million at the end of 2008 financial year.
Besides, Mr Bakary Kamara, Managing Director for the corporation disclosed that the reinsurer intended to increase its capital to USD500million which the company hope to begin the process next year.