From left: Prof. Akpan Ekpo, Director-General, West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management; Engr. Edoyemi Ogoh, Head, Interconnect and Network Monitoring/Quality of Service Unit, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC); Engr. Ernest Ndukwe, Chairman, Open Media Group/former Executive Vice-Chairman, NCC; Prince Cookey, Publisher/CEO of Business Journal; Mr. Tope Smart, Group Managing Director/CEO, NEM Insurance Plc and Chidi Izuwah, Director-General, Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission, at the Business Journal 10th anniversary lecture and awards on Infrastructure and Economic Growth: Exploring The Strategic Alliance in Lagos.
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Chuks Udo Okonta
Infrastructural development is pivotal to insurance growth, even as insurance remains the backbone of any economy due to the basic role it plays which is to restore people, firm, government to the position they were before the occurrence of an insured peril.
The Group Managing Director, NEM Insurance Plc, Mr. Tope Smart, who stated this at the Business Journal’s 10th Anniversary Lecture & Awards in Ikeja, Lagos, over the weekend, said, research has equally shown that there is a linkage between insurance, infrastructure and economic growth. Investment in infrastructure, according to him, leads to good quality of life, which automatically leads to improvement in mortality rate and consequently reduce death claims under life insurance.
Moreover, he said, good roads will reduce the number of accidents, thereby, leading to reduction in claim on motor insurance, goods in transit Insurance and group personal accident insurance, among other, adding that, this will ultimately lead to a better, stronger and a healthier insurance industry.
“In addition, availability of data helps in the generation and preparation of good statistics that are useful in Preparing rate guide for insurance. Good infrastructure will ensure this,” he stressed.
Saying it is very obvious that investment in infrastructure will result in the growth of the economy of any nation, he added that, the attendant insurance needs resulting from such economic growth will be to the benefit of the insurance industry.
To him, ‘for a consideration (premium) insurance ensures the continuity of an enterprise notwithstanding the occurrence of an unforeseen event.’
On his part, the Director General, Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission(ICRC), Engr. Chidi Izuwah, said, fixing the infrastructural deficit of the country requires a huge fund which the country does not have at the moment, but if there is a right environment that allows for Public Private Partnership(PPP), where the private sector generates the fund, this challenge could be jointly addressed.
Currently, he said, insurance and pension funds are invested in FGN Securities, but that it will make more economic impact, if such funds can be channeled to fixing the country’s infrastructure, although, that will require having the right recovery mechanism that will allow the funding partners recoup their investments.
Earlier, the Publisher, Business Journal Magazine thanked God for clocking 10 years since its inception, stating that, though the road was not all smooth, but that the medium whither the storm to be a force to reckon with in business and financial journalism.
Going forward, he said, the magazine has developed a Strategic Plan of Action, to add more values to its readers and advertisers through strategic digital channel expansion, corporate partnerships and tailor-made editorial content.