From left: Chairman, Nigerian Insurers Association, Eddie Efekoha and Director-General, Mrs Yetunde Ilori at the event.
PRESS CONFERENCE BY CHAIRMAN OF THE NIGERIAN INSURERS ASSOCIATION (NIA), MR. EDDIE EFEKOHA ON FRIDAY, APRIL 20, 2018 AT 264, IKORODU ROAD, OBANIKORO, LAGOS.
Good morning gentlemen of the Press and welcome to this brief interactive session.
Since the last time we met, a lot of developments have taken place in the industry and as I promised then, we have come together again today to share our thoughts on these developments as partners in progress.
Permit me to highlight a few of these developments in the industry and our Association that are worthy of mention.
➢ In the last few weeks, we were all witnesses to the invasion of member companies by tax agents of the FIRS in furtherance of the enforcement of section 16 of CITA 2007 as amended. We are delighted to report that through our strategic engagement initiatives and with the understanding reached, members are now relieved from the heavy tax burden imposed on our member-insurance companies by the law. We appreciate the management of FIRS particularly its chairman, Mr Tunde Fowler, for giving us the opportunity to make our presentation and canvass our position on the law. We assure them of our continued support in the process of amending the law to bring it in line with global best practice.
➢ Our Association continues to be in the forefront of capacity development for employees of member companies. In the area of actuarial capacity building, we played host to a team from the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, UK (IFoA), led by its President, Ms. Majorie Ngwenya, where the issue of dearth of actuaries in the market was extensively discussed. The IFoA team has assured the market of its continued support in that regard through regular training programmes and other collaborative initiatives.
To underscore the high regard which the institute has for Nigerian market, Lagos will play host to the inaugural IFoA Africa Conference on April 27, 2018.
Also worthy of mention is the collaboration between the Association, College of Insurance and International Labour Organisation (ILO) to train insurance professionals in the area of Micro insurance, market research and product development. We are optimistic that these initiatives will translate to better underwriting practices and improved bottom line for our members.
➢ Another issue worth mentioning here is the rates on compulsory insurance. We are grateful to NAICOM for coming up with the rates as a way of entrenching better market discipline especially in the area of motor insurances and life underwriting. We are optimistic that the positive effect of the new guidelines will begin to manifest in the accounts of member companies before year end.
➢ It is equally important to inform you that we are witnessing more market cohesion and improved intercompany relationship. Companies now share information on new businesses and claims. This has resulted in the discovery of fraudulent claims in the market especially in the area of motor insurance. The Association appreciates members for this improved relationship and urges greater collaboration in the market.
➢ The insurance industry rebranding project is also at the heart of the Governing Council of the Association. Although this is a project initiated by the Insurers Committee, the Association fully supports it and has continued to mobilise its members to do likewise. We are convinced that members stand to benefit immensely from the initiative.
➢ The Association working with KPMG developed a 10-year transformation roadmap for the industry. This roadmap together with similar works by other arms of industry are undergoing harmonization under the auspices of the Insurers Committee. I strongly believe that the implementation of this plan when concluded soon would bring about the much-awaited growth to our industry.
➢ The Association is forging ahead in the implementation of the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) code. Discussions between the Association and Nigerian Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS), for deployment of the USSD have progressed significantly and an inter-agency publicity committee has been put together between NIA and NIBSS with a view to publicising the project to engender public support and acceptability.
When fully operational, the USSD code is expected to close the gap encountered in the operation of the NIID as the code will not require internet connectivity for verification of motor insurance certificates across the country.
➢ Gentlemen of the Press, you would recall that in my acceptance speech following my election as 22nd Chairman of our noble Association, I promised to give further impetus to the development projects initiated by my predecessor, notable amongst which is the New NIA House Project. I am delighted to inform you that the journey which we commenced about three years ago aimed at building a befitting NIA Towers is about to crystalise.
We are in this new office location of our Association because in no distant time the project will commence. I want to commend member- companies for their faith in me and the secretariat as evidenced by the massive support we have received in the course of soliciting for funds for the project. I also wish to take this opportunity to re assure them that
we will work with relevant professionals to deliver the project in record time. We will continue to count on their support.
➢ Last week, we were jolted with news of the demise of one of the past Director-Generals of our Association, Mr. Ezekiel O. Chiejina. He was Director-General of the Association from 2003 – 2010. Apart from serving the Association in that capacity, he was also an erudite scholar and an insurance giant. We mourn his exit and pray God to console the family he has left behind and the entire insurance industry.
➢ Gentlemen of the press, please recall that I had earlier promised to make this interaction very brief. I thank you for your time and wish you the best in your endeavours.
Thank You and God Bless