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Chuks Udo Okonta
Experts have implored insurance practitioners to transit into green insurance to enable them sustain their businesses and future of underwriting in Nigeria.
The experts who made this call speaking at the maiden edition of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria’s (CIIN) programme tagged ‘Insurance Industry Parley’ in Lagos today, stressed that providing the proper tools and approach to managing the global sustainable relatable risks which are environmental, social and governance (ESG) are crucial and having a consolidated insurance industry effort championed by the regulator around sustainability is imminent.
The event which was themed ‘Sustainable Insurance-Issues and Trends’, convened stakeholders of the different arms of the insurance industry; the regulator, insurers, brokers and loss adjusters together to chart issues and trends on sustainable insurance.
Speaking on the regulator’s technical perspective, the Head IT Department, National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), Abiodun Aribike, disclosed that the insurance regulator; NAICOM is using Information Technology to drive sustainable insurance in Nigeria.
Aribike stated that the Commission in partnership with the Financial Sector Deeping Africa (FSD) Africa recently launched the Risk, Resilience and Regulatory Laboratory (R3Lab) in Lagos to ensure this purpose is achieved.
He added that the initiative is aimed at mitigating the impact of specific challenges bedevilling the insurance regulatory environment in Nigeria as well as to explore ways in which collaboration, technology and insurance supervisory capacity building can improve the regulatory effectiveness of Africa’s insurance industry.
“The R3Lab offers a three-tiered approach towards buildng the technical capacity and skills of the regulator on innovation and sustainable insurance,” he said.
For her part, speaking on the insurer’s perspective, the Head, Retail Solutions, Axa Mansard, Mrs. Rashidat Adebisi, emphasised the need for operators to start working on sustainability for the future by shifting their focus from investing in just oil revenues to gas, as gas is more sustainable.
“The world is currently shifting away from oil. We need to start investing in gas which is more sustainable and greener. We need to take actions on sustainable goals as this helps the environment to be save. I urge everyone here to start and lead the sustainable goals conversations in their various companies because sustainability is key”, she expressed.
Speaking on the broker’s perspective, Alhaji Saheed Egbeyemi of Hogg Robinson Nigeria Limited, noted that opportunities abound for the sector to tap into and flourish but the issues of rate cutting and unhealthy competition have to be addressed.
He added that underwriters and brokers need to collaborate more to push the tenets of sustainable insurance.
For the former President of the Institute of Loss Adjusters of Nigeria (ILAN), Mr. Ralph Opara, representing the loss adjusters, ILAN is doing a lot to ensure sustainability because the arm remains the life wire of the insurance value chain.
For her part, taking the academic community perspective, the Rector, College of Insurance and Financial Management (CIFM), Dr. (Mrs.)Yeside Oyetayo, said ESG risks are now a criteria to determining a company that is sustainable hence, trainings and programmes on sustainable risks need to be factored into the insurance industry academic curriculum and the industry needs to collaborate with other sectors.
Concluding the panel session, the Managing Director and the Chairman of the occasion, Olusegun Omosehin, emphasised that collaborations and innovation are the way to go for the industry as regards sustainability.
“Opportunities are before us as underwriters so we need to transition into green insurance so we can sustain the businesses and future of insurance in Nigeria”, he said.
Delivering his speech earlier, the President of CIIN, Sir (Dr.) Muftau Oyegunle, said the event is a new and free programme of the CIIN focused on giving back to its members and the insurance community in general.
“The objective of this programme among other things is to bring all stakeholders from the different arms of the insurance industry together, to discuss the business environment and how it affects the operations of the sector as well as charting the way forward for insurance to thrive in the country.
“The theme of this maiden edition which is ‘Sustainable Insurance – Issues and Trends’, is indeed very apt and strategic considering the era we are in. With this theme, we assure you the engagement and interactions of all stakeholders here present will be in an enlightening and forward-looking approach. Also, all discussions and presentations that will be delivered today are all targeted at identifying, assessing, managing and monitoring risks and opportunities associated with environmental, socio-economic and governance issues and how they impact the insurance industry to the end that we have a sustainable industry.”