Fayemi to insure traditional institutions, 135 Obas

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Fayemi to insure traditional institutions, 135 Obas

By Omolade Adegbuyi

The Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi is set to insure about 135 traditional institutions and their custodian Obas in Ekiti State.

The policy, tagged “Insurance for Indigenous Heritage” will mean the insurance of Obas and other verifiable heritages that have been sustained for centuries. The insurance scheme is said to be the first in the country.

Irohinoodua was informed that  the Ekiti State Council of Obas is excited about the Governor’s initiative. “This is the best thing any Governor can do to show deep affection for the oldest institution in the world”, a first class Oba who does not wish to be named told Irohinoodua.  Apart from helping the state to preserve agelong traditional sites, it will also insure Obas against death while the burden will be passed on to Insurance companies.

Experts say the policy will help preserve indigenous cultures, artifact, timeless traditional music and value systems of which the Obas are the custodians. “Traditional Rulers in Ekiti State, like their counterpart in the country are the custodians of ancient tradition, native customs and community values. In this regards, they are the revered institution in the country today that government relied upon in reaching out to the people, they also play an advisory role to the government for good governance. Traditional Rulers also play the role of Royal Fathers within their community, where disputes are settled amicably among parties, maintenance of peaceful co-existence among their subjects. They are also incharge of ancient culture, museum and artifacts that face threats of being stolen by foreign interests”, the policy prepared by LCM Insurance Brokers and sighted by our correspondent noted. The policy is also a Comprehensive Group Insurance Scheme which also covers the welfare of the traditional rulers.

“It’s a unique way of creating a partnership scheme between the Ekiti State Government, traditional rulers and the insurance industry. It’s another clear indication that Dr Fayemi places value on cultural tourism and he has demonstrated a rare commitment to uplifting the traditional patters into a viable form of social security network”, Mr Oladimeji Fatunla, the Managing Director of LCM Insurance told Irohinoodua on Monday.

The said the team had some of the traditional rulers who have expressed enthusiasm and appreciation for the scheme.He quoted one of the traditional rulers as saying that it was the first time in the history of Nigeria that traditional rulers would be treated as contributors to the country’s labour, social and economic frontiers.

The insurance policy also will provide coverage for indigenous property rights of local communities, incidental expenses pertaining to the death of traditional rulers and life insurance for the Obas.

Another source told Irohinoodua that with insurance package for the traditional institutions, many of them will not see the need to be pestering the state government or putting pressure on the government out of fear of meeting obligations and cost of protecting their primordial art and customs that currently face threats either through outright stealing of artifacts or violation of indigenous property rights by local and international interests.  

 
Fatunla said since the The Pension Reform Bill 2004 was passed and signed into law and thus it repeals the Pension Act 1990 and established a uniform contributory pension scheme for both the public and private sectors in Nigeria, the traditional rulers have been victims of exclusion by governments at the local and national levels.

Part of the objectives of the Act is to ensure that every person who worked in either the Public or Private Sector receives his/her retirement benefits as and when due, assist individuals by ensuring that they save in order to cater for their livelihood during old age.

It also aimed at establishing a uniform set of rules, regulation and standards for the administration and payments of retirement benefits for both private and public sectors. The scheme is divided into two headings Contributory Pension and Group Life Assurance Plan but custodians of traditional institutions are excluded. Under the scheme, Ekiti State Government will be putting down a meager N16m every year while five notable insurance companies in Nigeria shoulder the associated risks.

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