Nigeria, a country of more than 140 million people with a landmass of about 923,768.64sq. km and immense human and material resources is a former British colony. Hence, the country shares almost all its political and economic settings from its former colonial heritage. Before the introduction of the modern form of insurance, some form of social insurance had existed in the Nigerian society. These social schemes evolved through the existence of extended family system and social associations such as age grades and other unions. Until 1966, Nigeria copied British parliamentary system of government. This British system still dominates aspects of the country’s socio-economic settings. For instance, the legal practices in Nigeria still reflect its colonial heritage. Economic institutions such banks and insurance companies, in practice, copy the British style of conducting their businesses.
The origins of modern insurance are intertwined with the advent of British trading companies in the region and the subsequent increased inter-regional trade. Increased trade and commerce led to increased activities in shipping and banking, and it soon became necessary for some of the foreign firms to handle some of their risks locally. Trading companies were therefore subsequently granted insurance agency licenses by foreign insurance companies.