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Chuks Udo Okonta
The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) should allow brilliant minds to come into the insurance sector and limit years of experience only to technical areas, Chairman, United Bank for Africa/Heirs Holdings Tony Elumelu, has canvassed.
He said this at the ongoing National Insurance Conference yesterday in Abuja, adding that the insurance sector in Nigeria, should be opened to young and innovative minds.
He submitted that with the right enabling environment, we would see the transformation of the Nigerian insurance sector.
He implored insurance sector practitioners to act in a way and manner that the profession is one that people aspire to become part of.
“We need a mindset change in the industry. We need to increase the capacity in the sector.
“We need a younger and more agile workforce. We have so many young people, but the insurance sector is not attractive to them in the way banking, oil and gas, fast moving consumer goods, IT/Technology, creative areas like Nollywood and other sectors are,” he posited.
He noted that he chose his career in banking largely because of the professionals he saw in banking when he was growing up and he aspired to be like one of them.
Elumelu maintained that it is time to refresh the workforce mix in the sector, adding that the industry needs to attract the youth of our country into the sector.
According to him, the youth has the energy, ideas and the creativity to take the industry to the next level. “See what has happened in the banking, telco, creative sectors of our economy. These can also be replicated in the in the insurance sector,” he submitted.
He said at the Tony Elumelu Foundation, they have funded 18,500 young entrepreneurs from every country across Africa and their pain points other than access to finance, training and mentorship, is around a lack of adequate insurance knowledge and products that caters to their unique needs.
He therefore noted that the industry must be more creative if they are to serve Nigeria’s young people adequately.