" ITREALMS: Seriki tasks insurance firms on SMEs funding


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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Seriki tasks insurance firms on SMEs funding

Managing Director, Omatek Computers Plc, Mrs. Florence Seriki has called on insurance companies to explore ways of supporting Small and Medium scale Enterprises (SMEs) in the information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector.

Mrs. Seriki who made this call at the InsuranceTechExpo 2008 which held in Lagos said this has become necessary because lending the conditions by the insurance companies would be different from that of banks, stressing that with this the insurance sector itself will grow.

She said as a way of boosting local content, quality must not be compromised, advising that specialization is necessary so that the nation could have comparative advantage in her area of specialization, which will eventually increase local production.

She decried the situation where low capacity computers are brought into the country from abroad.

“It is unpardonable for a computer of 2 gigabytes to be given to Nigerian students where there are computers of 60 gigabytes. Our children are good enough for the latest in technology,” she said.

The Omatek boss also called on banks and other financial institutions to partner with local factories with various schemes aimed at making computers available to the people stating that with this the digital divide can be bridged.

She further said that selling foreign brands will not make the economy of the nation to grow.

“We saw that selling the foreign brands was not the best for the nation, we need to look inward for the nation and the continent to develop technologically,” she said.

Speaking on the need for the expo, chief executive officer, Private Media Mart, the organizers of the event, Mr. Ejiofor Agada, said since many of the insurance companies still operate manually, the expo was intended to showcase to the insurance sector the various technologies that will help them in their businesses.

“These technologies vary from communications, software, hardware, enterprise storage and a host of others,” he said.

Mr. Agada, lamented that unlike other parts of the world, the insurance sector in the country is still struggling to migrate into the usage and optimization of ICT.

He called on IT solutions providers to reach out to the insurance companies rather than seat back and wait for the insurance companies to come before they can market their solutions.

The expo which will be an annual event, he said, acts as a meeting point for both insurance firms and IT solution providers in the country in order to chart a new course for both sectors to move forward.

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