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Chuks Udo Okonta
The wave of migration sweeping round the country, known as Japa syndrome is hitting the insurance industry hard, even at a time the sector is contending with challenge of dearth of professionals to occupy top management positions.
Investigations conducted by Inspenonline revealed that young professionals are moving en masse from underwriting and broking firms to seek better opportunities abroad.
It was gathered that one of the leading underwriting firms, recently was greatly affected as many of its staff resigned and migrated abroad.
Chairman/CEO, Boff & Company Insurance Brokers Limited, Chief Babajide Olatunde-Agbeja, at an event recently, said three members of his firm have migrated this year.
He expressed worry over the syndrome, whilst imploring insurance practitioners to engage in massive recruitment, training and retraining of staff to keep their operations afoot in the phase of the syndrome.
He canvassed the need for back-up staff in sensitive positions, stressing that such plans would enable companies continue when professionals resign and migrate.
Findings have revealed that the industry lacks adequate skilled manpower. This can be observed in the appointments of managing directors by some companies in recent time.
Of the nine managing directors appointed in the industry recently five were recycled as they were called back from retirement.
Presently about three firms are shopping for managing directors to steer their operations.
Commissioner for Insurance Sunday Thomas, had said getting capable and qualified personnel to occupy existing managing director positions is posing a challenge for insurance companies.
Thomas, at the 2022 Business Outlook, organised by the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN) said the development poses a threat to the sector, adding that top executives of two Insurance firms had told him that they needed people to occupy their managing director positions, but have not found qualified candidates.
According to him, he was moved to urged one of the official to elevate the person next to him, but was surprised to be informed by the official that there is a wide gap between him and the person next to him.
Thomas at the event, implored top managements of insurance firms to create rooms for development of their employees.
He noted that human capacity should be accorded the needed attention, stressing that the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) is presently is training and retraining its employees to enable them offer globally accepted services.
The NAICOM boss implored managing directors of insurance firms to help develop those around them so as to engender growth.
Though, in recent time, some companies have attracted few good hands, investigations showed that there still lies a big gap in meeting the human capacity need of the sector, as available data showed that a financial institution – Zenith Bank Plc, has more employees than the 57 underwriting firm as at year 2020.
According to data obtained from the 2020 Nigeria Insurance Digest, published by the Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA), underwriters have 6,673 employees as against Zenith Bank’s 6,785 employees.