The country’s finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala confirming the move said the government was making this move as a measure to close the gap that was created by economic challenges.
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“The move into the insurance sector is not a response driven by the fall in oil prices. This is a sector that for some time we have wanted to grow because we see its potential,” said Okonjo-Iweala in an interview with CNBC Africa.
“We are getting a lot of push by outside investors who even in these challenging times want to invest into the country’s insurance business.”
Okonjo-Iweala also said the government was seeing huge potential for consolidation and growth.
“We also see a huge potential for job creation and that’s another thing we are interested in,” she said.
“We think insurance penetration in the country is small relative to what is happening elsewhere. Currently the penetration is about 0.4 per cent and we want to try and push to 1.6 per cent within the next decade so that we can get more policy holders who are buying insurance.”
Okonjo-Iweala said, in the next three years Nigeria wants to move from two billion US dollars in premiums to about seven billion US dollars.
“We want jobs to be created from about 30, 000 now to about 100,000 jobs within the next three and multiple that to three hundred thousand jobs in the next five years,” added Okonjo-Iweala.
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“It’s going to be challenging to achieve the goals but we have found out that our economy is diverse and that’s what we found out from rebasing.”
The mister said oil sector was contributing about 14 per cent to the GDP, services 51 per cent, agriculture 22 per cent and industry about 26 per cent.
Okonjo-Iweala said the oil industry provides about 70 per cent of revenues adding that due to the drop in oil prices the government would have to constrain some expenditure elsewhere.