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Chuks Udo Okonta
The Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA) has said the volume of business written by the insurance sector grew from N413.8 billion in 2018 to about N490 billion in 2019, representing an increase of 15.55 per cent over 2018 figure.
The outgoing Chairman of the association, Tope Smart, said this today at the virtual 49th Annual General Meeting (AGM), stressing that despite enormous challenges, the industry has continued to perform 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 such as 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 will further deepen insurance penetration and encourage insurance uptake by the public,” he said.
He posited that during the past year, the Association in line with its mandate of promoting the interest and business of its members, engaged in several activities and initiatives in furtherance of same.
According to him, the outbreak of Coronavirus pandemic which has become a global cause for concern has posed a serious challenge to the Association and the entire Nigerian insurance industry, adding that the virus has not only disrupted businesses but also forced member companies to activate their business continuity strategies and we are happy that they have responded adequately to the challenges posed by the disease.
Remote working, deployment of technology, use of web conferencing technology for online meetings, maintenance of physical and social distancing in the work place and sale of insurance policies through online platforms have become part of the new normal created by COVID-19, he posited.
“As part of the industry contribution towards national response to the pandemic, the Association in collaboration with other arms of the industry provide life insurance cover for 5000 health workers and volunteers such as Doctors, Pharmacists, Nurses and other ancillary personnel in the frontline of the battle against COVID-19. The scale of benefits under the scheme are: Doctors – N3,000,000. Pharmacists and Nurses N2,000,000, Ancillary Personnel N1,000,000. Added to these, the Association also donated the sum of N500m (Five Hundred Million Naira) to the Federal Government as additional support in the fight against the pandemic,” he stated.
Smart who was elated over the recognition received by the industry from its support on the fight against COVID-19 pandemic said, “It is with a high sense of fulfillment that I report today, the Presidential recognition accorded the Industry by President Muhammadu Buhari during his Presidential Broadcast on Monday, 27th April 2020. This is the highest level of recognition by any government and as we savour in the feat so far achieved, let me also note that this is a call to duty.