Insurance operators in Nigeria have been told to key into information technology investment as it holds the future of the industry which is striving to sustain operations.
Mr Muftau Oyegunle, President /Chairman, Governing Council, Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN), who gave the advise to directors of insurance companies said they should as a matter of urgency begin to groom manpower that would be top-class as this has become imperative for improved performance and growth of the industry.
Oyegunle, while addressing the 2021 Insurance Directors’ Conference, in Lagos with the theme: Insurance Industry In A Changing World: said, “With increasing digitalisation and ‘low touch’ system where human input is at its minimal, professionals need to meet the emerging demands for specialised skills.
“There is a need for us as individuals, professionals, and organisations to aggressively equip ourselves with skills and knowledge that would ensure we have the best assets,” he said.
According to him, discussion on the theme of the conference cannot be overflogged, as signs of a changing world is evident around us daily .
Oyegunle said that it was impossible to talk about the changing world of insurance or even the financial sector in general, without talking about Artificial Intelligence (AI).
He said AI was fast becoming the order of the day as organisations seek to build leaner but more effective teams.
” Every business firm in the 21st Industry must leverage on technology to simplify its business strategies and processes, especially now that the pandemic has forced business executives to do things differently, ” he said.
According to him, the future that AI promises for insurance is a series of touchless processes from premium collection through the entire value chain until claims processing.
He said that insurance market stakeholders must be at the cutting edge of technology and equip themselves with the appropriate tools required for performance, adding that insurers must be deliberate with continuous customer engagement, as this not only builds trust but puts the insurer in the face of the customers.
Oyegunle said that beyond technology and knowledge, captains of the industry need to bridge the existing gap between various stakeholders in the industry, to take the industry to the next level.
” Most of the challenges confronting us today require serious cooperation within the industry and collaboration with other relevant stakeholders to move this industry forward.
” This is the main aspect of the changing world that we are not paying adequate attention to,” he said.
Oyegunle appreciated the National Insurance Commision (NAICOM) for providing the platform annually to help members of the board of insurance organisations to refocus on their very important role of running ethical, profitable, and sustainable companies.
He also lauded the commision for its continued confidence in the College of Insurance and Financial Management (CIFM) and its ability to always deliver quintessential training events.
In her presentation, Mrs Olumayowa Ogunwemimo, Managing Director, First Ally Asset Management Ltd., advised the insurance directors to always do a credit analysis to mitigate the counterparty risk and not just focus on interest when making investment decision.
Ogunwemimo charged the directors to also consider Commodity-backed notes issued by the two commodity exchanges in Nigeria – AFEX and LXFE, while investing.
Over 200 directors of various insurance companies participated in the conference either physically or virtually.
The annual conference for directors of insurance companies is organised to continually refresh them on their responsibilities to their various companies and upgrade their knowledge on recent developments in the sector.