1. It is with great pleasure that I warmly welcome you to Nigeria and to the beautiful city of Abuja for this inauguration of the West African Insurance Supervisors Association and the MMOU signing by its members. Nigeria is especially delighted to host this gathering, at this time, given our deep commitment to the achievement of the integration in the West African Sub region. I want to particularly commend Governors of Central Banks and Commissioners of Insurance who have honoured this event with their presence in person despite their tight schedule.
2. As you are aware, our economics have witnessed rapid growth especially when compared to that in developed Western Nations however recent fall in oil prices and other associated events have threatened to erode the gains and slow down the growth of the recent past. There is therefore a need for continued international collaboration in order to achieve a more stable international economic and financial system.
3. Insurance has a significant role to play in our economies. It is therefore heartening to see the West African Insurance Regulators have recognized the need to come together to examine possible way to cooperate, collaborate and to develop harmonised regulatory standards.
4. The concept of an association of regulators is certainly not new to this region. For some time now our banking regulators have been making use of this approach to good effect in managing the regulatory issues of large cross-border banks in the West African Region. Also in July this year the West African Securities Regulators also met in Abuja to sign an MOU for mutual cooperation.
5. The West African Insurance Supervisors Association is therefore vital because of our rapidly integrating insurance industry and the growing practice of our insurance companies operating across regional and international boundaries.
6. In view of the importance of this association, I wish to assure this gathering that the Federal Ministry of Finance, Nigeria will give its full support to the goals of the association.
7. On this final note, I wish members of the association success as you work together to overcome common challenges. May the association be most fruitful and productive as you cooperate and share knowledge of your various regulatory activities.
8. I thank you and God bless you all.