DEPUTY Minister for Finance and Planning, Dr Ashatu Kijaji has directed Tanzania Insurance Regulatory Authority (TIRA) to diversify its products and increase public awareness if is to increase the insurance sector’s contribution to the national GDP.
TIRA had announced its target to improve its penetration by 3 per cent, further increasing revenue collection by fivefold from the 2018’s 691.9bn/-, but the minister said the target was “too shortsighted” considering the country’s population.
According to the minister, the contribution of insurance to the GDP is 0.53 per cent and it covers only 15 per cent (4million people) of the targeted 27 million population.
“The contribution of the insurance sector for the past 10 years has been stagnant, posing serious questions whether TIRA thinking capacity has reached the end,” she said.
She noted that with the government pushing for the industrial growth many raw material producers need to be insured, yet the service has been limited only to urban areas.
“There are farmers, pastoralists and fishermen who all need their activities secured from natural calamities. Insurance providers have also been misbehaving when a customer submits an application for compensation.”
She wanted the commissioner, Dr Mussa Juma, to discuss with all key stakeholders and discharge their duties in compliance with the current national insurance policy and regulations.
She explained that the ministry was in an advanced stage of reviewing the national insurance policy that would propose amendments to the Insurance Act, 2009 and its regulations.
Speaking during the council of workers’ union meeting, TIRA Commissioner and Chairman of the union, Dr Juma, said the authority was meeting to review its priorities for the 2020/21 fiscal year.
He said the authority targeted to reach at least 45 per cent of the population in creating awareness and was considering introducing an online system that apart from increasing transparency would also boost revenue collection.
“We want to start providing licences online. We consider making adjustments in levies and other charges that will facilitate people’s desire to subscribe for insurance services,” he said.
The online system, according to the commissioner, will be integrated with key state institutions, including the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) and the Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA).