Nigeria is an emerging economy with a number of industrial sectors providing employment to the millions of people who are joining the labour force every year. The question many Westerners often ask themselves is, how many insurance companies are in Nigeria? While the answer varies from one person to another, it is safe to say that there are more than a few dozen. However, how many of these companies offer insurance specifically tailored to African cultures and their needs? This article will address this question.
Nigeria has a number of multinational insurance companies which have been established over time. These companies usually deal in insurance products which are not readily available in many other African countries. For example, most Nigerians do not have access to medical equipment, which most Americans do. As a result, the companies have developed relationships with the medical communities of each country and form joint ventures to offer the products. Some of these joint ventures have grown into multi-million dollar operations.
The issue for most African countries is accessing these multinational insurance companies is much more difficult than it is for the average individual. For starters, there are few countries which have developed the infrastructure to allow for multi-level marketing to take place across the board. Most of the companies that offer their products and services across the African continent are still relatively new.
Another problem is that some African countries have a negative view of foreign direct investment (FDI). The Nigerian government has tried to curb FDI through licensing policies, but these have been heavily challenged by Western companies. As a result, the number of companies providing their products and services to African customers continues to decline. Currently, there are approximately a half a dozen established companies in Nigeria which are predominantly Chinese. They dominate the market and offer cheap products.
One reason why there are not more African insurance companies is the fact that they are very wary of investing in an emerging market. As a result, many of them either lack the capital to invest in building up their business or they lack the willingness to do so. It would not be surprising if this situation was aggravated by the outbreak of the AIDS epidemic in the eighties. Many people in Africa who were highly educated and earning decent incomes left the country in search of better employment opportunities elsewhere.
There is one company, however that has managed to keep afloat during the difficult times. This company is an insurer which offers both life and health insurance products as well as property insurance. Due to the large number of Chinese people who have migrated to Africa, many Chinese insurance companies have expanded into Nigeria. They have established bases in many cities around the country and offer their products and services to the African market.
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