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About the country

Population: 188 million (2015)
Population below poverty line: 70% (2010)
GDP per capita: $2,640 (2016)
Informal sector: 83% (2014)
Initial market view:

The insurance market in Nigeria has experienced slow growth. Insurance coverage tends to be limited to corporate accounts and the formal sector. Car and infrastructure insurance appears to be the dominant type of insurance.  In 2011, less than 1% of adults had insurance. Nigeria had enjoyed economic growth in recent years, although the recession that the country suffered lead to a slowdown in the insurance industry and poverty does remain prevalent throughout the country. The insurance sector is relatively small and accounts for 0.72% of GDP, which is below the global and also African average. Its large and growing population offers many opportunities, while the predominantly rural setting of a majority of Nigerians poses challenges. Non-life insurance as well as motor insurance have been dominant in recent years’ premiums. Recent innovations in the microinsurance space, though limited due to regulatory restrictions, have centred on more alternative distribution channels to offer products.

Our engagement

The ILO’s Impact Insurance Facility has actively participated in the development of the insurance market in Nigeria. In 2011 the Facility started an innovation project with Hygeia to address the challenges on the supply and demand side of the healthcare system. Furthermore, the Facility has actively participated in events, like the Microinsurance Learning Sessions in 2013, geared to engage with the industry to serve new markets. It has also invested in a sustainable local training infrastructure, in partnership with the College of Insurance and Financial Management (CIFM) in Lagos. Most recently, the Facility is partnering with FSDA to work together with AXA Mansard to launch initiatives for emerging consumers.

Our initiatives: Capacity building

The capacity building activities in Nigeria aim to translate knowledge into practical solutions as a way to develop the skills of Nigerian insurers, distributors and other key players. The Facility invests in a sustainable local training infrastructure; in partnership with the CIFM, we jointly offer courses from our training portfolio. The Facility is building the capacity of some of the trainers of the CIFM for them to offer microinsurance trainings, and to complement the current supply of the College with inclusive insurance content. The methodologies and content that are being transferred strengthen the general capacity of the CIFM to bring more applied content to their activities. The Facility’s capacity building activities furthermore supplement the training support initiatives of the German development agency GIZ with the CIFM.

Our initiatives: Research and innovation

The Facility is currently supporting AXA Mansard in the setup up a new unit that will operate fully independent from the rest of the business. It will help AXA Mansard develop the capacities that are needed to build a team working in different elements of the value chain, from research and product design, to operations and marketing. This project will ultimately lead to a broad product portfolio and distribution strategy.

Our initiatives: Market development

The Facility is interacting with the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) and the Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA) to work on a microinsurance working group for a responsible insurance agenda, and to create the basic infrastructure to support interested insurers in delivering new solutions.


KPIs can help you better understand the past and future. The experience of a health microinsurer in Nigeria showed how using a dashboard of financial and social key performance indicators (KPIs) helped to improve its programme’s internal management and external reporting to partners (both donors and government).