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Chuks Udo Okonta
Shareholders of Linkage Assurance Plc have applauded growth of the firm, which saw it grow its Gross Premium Written (GPW) by 34 per cent in 2021 financial year despite the challenging business environment.
Cross section of the shareholders including Bisi Bakare who spoke at Linkage Assurance Plc’s 28 Annual General Meeting held in Lagos said the operating environment has become very competitive, commending the board and management for making deeper inroads into oil and gas, aviation, agriculture among others.
Linkage Assurance Plc during the year under review grew its GPW to N11.16 billion from N8.33 billion in 2021 financial year, while the net underwriting income was N6.26 billion, as against N5.076 billion the previous year.
Joshua Fumudoh, Chairman of the board who announced the performance said growth in revenue could not translate to profitability because of huge claims that hit the company in 2021, including the EndSARS protest losses.
Fumudoh said, “the aftermath of the 2020 #EndSARS protest took a toll on the insurance industry and Linkage was not exempted. The total #EndSARS claims for the insurance industry was about N20billion whilst Linkage Assurance Plc exposure was N1.1 billion.”
He said however, that the Company was proud to have met its obligations to her teaming customers by enabling them to return to their business despite the huge losses.
In addition to #EndSARS, other two major claims occurred in 2021, which there is a provision of N1.5 billion and N750 million already paid.
While assuring the shareholders for better performance in the current year given its first quarter and second quarter performance, he said, “we will continue to refine our strategy in line with the political, economic, sociological and technological changes in the industry.”
“We will also continue to develop innovative products, alternative channels of distributions and strategic initiatives that will enable us to achieve our corporate goals and objectives. With a medium-to-long term perspective, we believe that we will benefit from growth in these initiatives, Fumudoh stated.
Daniel Braie, Managing Director/ CEO, Linkage Assurance Plc responding to shareholders questions pledged the commitment of the company to meeting its claims obligation despite the challenging business environment.
Informing that the Company paid out whopping N3.99 billion claims in 2021 financial year, against N2.41 billion in 2020, Braie said its reinsurance capacity is strong to continue to meet her obligations.
On outlook, Braie said management was looking at measures to cut operating expenses and portfoliosdivestment of unprofitable insurance businesses, while aligning operating costs of distribution channels with their revenue generation potential.
On new lines of business, he said, “in line with our strategic focus, we have developed a bouquet of Agricultural Insurance products as risk management initiatives for both small, medium, and large-scale farmers and agribusiness. These include Livestock Insurance Solution, Multiperil Crop Insurance Solution, Fish Farm & Fisheries Insurance, Poultry Farm Insurance, Area Yield Index Insurance and Farm All Risk (Material Damage).”
“We have embarked on extensive digital transformation, this is expected to be one of the major drivers of operational efficiency as it will improve our business process, eliminate wastages, and positively impact our performances.”
Consequently, we shall be executing our strategic initiatives in line with our 2022 strategic focus, which is hinged around four business pillars –growth&operational, financial, customer & people excellence.
To improve our business process and services, we will commence the first phase of our digital transformation plan during the year, the CEO assured.