Dr Kijaji urges TIRA to reach more underserved population

14Feb 2020
Polycarp Machira
The Guardian
Dr Kijaji urges TIRA to reach more underserved population

THE deputy minister for Finance and Planning, Dr Ashatu Kijaji has called on the Tanzania Insurance Regulatory Authority (TIRA) to expand its services to reach more Tanzanians.

Deputy minister for Finance and Planning, Dr Ashatu Kijaji.

She said the authority's performance is not satisfactory as only four million Tanzanians have access to insurance services leaving behind farmers and livestock keepers.

Speaking while officiating at the opening of TIRA workers council meeting here yesterday, the deputy minister expressed shock that the authority's management has not set realistic goals to help reach uninsured population.

Earlier, TIRA Commissioner, Dr Musa Juma said the target is to ensure the authority contribution to the national economy reach three percent by 2021 up from the current 0.53 percent.

"The management's target is not realistic at all as many people in the country, especially children still do not have access to insurance services 58 years after independence," she said, adding that it is the duty of TIRA to ensure all Tanzanians are covered.

She argued that towards the industrial economy, there is need for expanded insurance coverage, more so on the raw material producers like farmers and livestock. "What is the role of insurance sector in the industrial economy drive?" she asked.

Dr Kijaji said there is no industrial economy without producers who are sure of what they do, stating that the surety is given by the insurance sector.

According to the deputy minister, a 2017/18 report showed that only 15 percent of adult population has access to insurance services.

She also expressed concern at different rates of charges offered by different insurance companies in the country, calling on TIRA to ensure uniformity. She said the government loses a lot of money due to lack of uniform charges.

Earlier, in his opening remarks, Dr Juma said the authority plans to increase insurance awareness among Tanzanians by 45 percent by 2021, increase insurance purchase to 30 percent in the same period.

"We also target to ensure that at least 20 percent of Tanzanians have one insurance scheme by 2021 and the sector's contribution reaches three percent of the GDP," he said.

He argued that insurance sector recorded Sh 661,9 billion in revenue from sales of insurance services in 2018 and Sh 637.1 billion in 2019.

The commissioner attributed the increased collection to hard work by the staff as well as use of the electronic fiscal devices. He added that during the council meeting, they will come up with new measures to achieve the target and improve the authority's performance.

He said the authority plans to improve the existing electronic subsystem in collaboration with TRA, TPA and other institutions. He noted that customers will therefore be able to get services through electronic system, thus reducing time lost in physical services.