The Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA), has said that a number of measures being pursued by the industry would facilitate insurance growth in the country.
The Associations outgoing chairman, Tope Smart, said the rebranding project as well and financial inclusion drive which the industry is executing with other stakeholders will help deepen insurance business in Nigeria.
He said despite frustrating business environment the volume of business written by the industry rose to N490 billion in 2019, a 15.55 per cent over 2018 level of N413.8 billion.
Smart, who spoke at the virtual 49th Annual General Meeting (AGM), of the NIA, explained that despite the challenging business environment throughout last year, the industry still performed its role of financial intermediation and business restoration in line with its mandate.
“It is expected that the various initiatives embarked on by the Association in conjunction with other stakeholders will further deepen insurance penetration and encourage insurance uptake by the public. These include financial inclusion, micro-insurance, the insurance industry rebranding project, the Association’s USSD initiative, and the Nigerian Insurance Industry Platform for sale of Third Party Motor Insurance coupled with other strategic efforts by the regulator,” he said.
He said that during the past years, the Association, in line with its plan to promote the interest and business of its members, engaged in several initiatives in furtherance of the same.
According to him, the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, which has become a global concern, has posed a serious challenge to the Association and the entire Nigerian insurance industry.
He added that the virus has not only disrupted businesses, but also forced member companies to activate their business continuity strategies, and they are happy that they have responded adequately to the challenges posed by the disease.
He noted that remote working, deployment of technology, use of web conferencing technology for online meetings, maintenance of physical and social distancing in the workplace, and sale of insurance policies through online platforms have become part of the new normal created by COVID-19.
He said: “As part of the industry’s contribution towards national response to the pandemic, the Association, in collaboration with other arms of the industry, providing life insurance cover for 5,000 health workers and volunteers such as doctors, pharmacists, nurses and other ancillary personnel in the frontline of the battle against COVID-19.
“The scales of benefits under the scheme are doctors – N3 million; pharmacists and nurses N2 million; and ancillary personnel N1 million. In addition, the NIA also donated about N500 million to the Federal Government to support in the fight against the pandemic, he stated”.