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Insurance industry success depends on unity, Prof Irukwu

Patience SAGHANA
Insurance operators may continue to go in circles to get the desired attention of the government to speed up the growth of the sector except they speak in unison.

This was the submission of Prof. Joe Irukwu, chairman of the Insurance Review Committee in an interview with Sweet crude in Abuja recently.

Irukwu said that all arms of the insurance industry must speak with one voice for the sector to make any meaningful success.
He affirmed that only unity among all the arms of the sector can help wipe out all draconian laws and prevent other sectors from prying into the sector’s businesses.

The industry’s growth rate had gone backwards rather than moving forward as a result of discordant tones among operators.
According to him, “We are going backwards. When I started insurance almost 50 years ago, the industry was exciting and attractive.

The brokers, underwriters, loss adjusters and actuaries were all united because we realised the fact that no one arm could survive without the other. We recognised the fact that if there is no insuring public, there will be no demand for insurance products; we recognised the fact that if there are no underwriters, there will be no re-insurers and there will be no brokers. We discovered that our success depends greatly on our operating in unity but all that do not exist now.

He, however, said it is not too late for the insurance industry to retrace its steps to restore the lost glory of the sector.”
The solution he proffered is for operators to go back to the whole basics of operation of insurance and realise that each arm of the sector needs the other.

He attributed the variance in tunes in the sector to selfishness on the part of practitioners who rather than pursue the overall interest of the industry, are after their own interest which has reduced the sector to what it is today.

“We were all operating in unity years back but the story is different now because everybody wants to get the best package from the system,” he said.

He said if the Insurance Act 2003 is strengthened, operators and Nigerians will begin to appreciate insurance whilst all anomalies will be corrected.

“I think the law should be strengthened since Nigerians believe so much in money, they should be made to return whatever money they took from the system that is in breach of the law.


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