The Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA) has said the volume of business written by the insurance sector grew from N413.8 billion in 2018 to about N490 billion in 2019, representing an increase of 15.55 per cent over 2018 figure. The outgoing chairman of the association, Tope Smart, disclosed this yesterday at the association’s virtual 49th Annual General Meeting (AGM). He pointed out that despite enormous challenges, the industry had continued to perform its role of financial intermediation and business restoration in line with its mandate.
“It is expected that the various initiatives embarked on by the association, in conjunction with other stakeholders such as financial inclusion, micro insurance, the insurance industry rebranding project, the Association’s USSD initiative and the Nigerian Insurance Industry Platform for sale of Third Party Motor Insurance, coupled with other strategic efforts by the regulator will further deepen insurance penetration and encourage insurance uptake by the public,” he said. According to him, during the past year, the association, in line with its mandate of promoting the interest and business of its members, engaged in several activities and initiatives in furtherance of the same. He, however, said that the outbreak of Coronavirus pandemic, which has become a global cause for concern, posed a serious challenge to the association and the entire Nigerian insurance industry, adding that the virus had not only disrupted businesses, but also forced member companies to activate their business continuity strategies.
He said remote working, deployment of technology, use of web conferencing technology for online meetings, maintenance of physical and social distancing in the workplace and sale of insurance policies through online platforms had become part of the new normal created by COVID-19. According to Smart, “The volume of business written by the market grew from N413.8 billion in 2018 to about N490 billion in 2019. This represents an increase of 15.55 per cent over 2018 figure increase in the cost of operation. “Dilapidated infrastructure such as roads, railways and other public facilities coupled with a suffocating tax regime as well as the internecine conflicts in the North-East and the growing incidents of kidnappings, all contributed to affect the bottom line of insurance companies.
“As part of the industry contribution towards national response to the pandemic, the association, in collaboration with other arms of the industry, provide life insurance cover for 5,000 health workers and volunteers such as doctors, pharmacists, nurses and other ancillary personnel in the frontline of the battle against COVID-19. “The scale of benefits under the scheme is doctors – N3 million. Pharmacists and nurses N2 million, and ancillary personnel N1 million. Added to these, the association also donated the sum of N500 million to the Federal Government as additional support in the fight against the pandemic,” he added.