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Chuks Udo Okonta
The 2015 Champion Insurance Day Lecture/Luncheon will hold on December 21, 2015 as against the October 27 date earlier slated for the event.
A statement signed by the Group Managing Director/Editor-In-Chief Champion Newspapers Limited (CNL) Dr (Mrs.) Nwadiuto Iheakanwa, said preparation for the occasion is in top gear and that all necessary structures to make the event a befitting one have been put in place.
However, the management regrets inconveniences the change in date might cause all participants and stakeholders in the event.
The Group Managing Director of Royal Exchange Plc, Chike Mokwunye who will speak on the Theme; “Sustaining Insurance Growth Amidst the Unfolding Mass Events” has been confirmed as the guest speaker at the event.
In the lineup are the Director General, Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA), Sunday Thomas, the Group Managing Director/CEO, Cornerstone Insurance Plc, and the former Commissioner for Insurance Dr Ladipo Bailey as distinguished paper discussants, while the Commissioner for Insurance, Mohammed Kari will deliver the keynote address.
Champion Insurance Day Lecture, 16th in the series, is a platform where insurance eggheads, government functionaries, and other key stakeholders converge to chart a growth path
for the industry which has over the years been bedeviled with low penetration rate and public perception of the sector.
According to the management, this year’s event seeks to forge an enduring partnership between government agencies and the private sector with a view to charting a sustainable insurance sector in the country.
Mrs. Iheakanwa said that 2015 edition of Champion Insurance Day/ Luncheon holds a lot of promises for insurance industry as the event will provide a veritable platform for
industry stakeholders to review the sector’s performances, highlights challenges and proffers solution to nagging issue of insurance penetration among the populace.
According to her, there is no better time than now for the industry to make a strategic move to arrest the menace. Her argument tallies with other experts who have agreed that the bloated middle class population in the country is an attractive market for insurance in particular and the larger economy in general.
“There is no better time than now for the industry to make a strategic move in arresting the industry’s common enemy which is low penetration given the bloated emergence of middle class population which is an attractive market for insurance to thrive in an economy,” she said.
Similarly CNL’s Managing Editor, Luke Okoro noted that Nigeria’s insurance has no business playing a back bencher to South Africa in insurance matters given its huge potential. He noted that the sector’s less than one percent contribution to the Gross Domestic Party, GDP is unacceptable in a country of estimated 170 million people even as he urged stakeholders to rally at the insurance day lecture to proffer solution to penetration challenges faced by insurance sector.
“It is high time stakeholders come to a round table to strategise on how to arrest this menace, insurance penetration is low, its contribution to the GDP dismal, the industry needs a frank talk aimed at arresting this situation and the time is now,” he stated.
He assured that 2015 insurance Day/Luncheon will provide a platform for a successful interface that would change the fortune of the future underwriting subsector.
The nation’s insurance sector total capital base is about N700 billion, while Gross Premium Income (GPI) is put at N320 billion with contribution to the national GDP put at 0.3 per cent in the rebasing economy and insurance penetration about four percent.
The industry currently has 58 firms operating in the sector from about 106 insurance companies prior to the 2007 consolidation exercise. These include; life insurance service providers and the general business operators.
The current influx of foreign investors into the industry is an attestation that the sector has achieved a new image that endeared various capitalist movements who by nature would not wish to channel their funds to a volatile economy where their monies are not safe by all standards.