By Favour Nnabugwu

For the Nigerian insurance industry to enhance its growth prospect in the nation’s economy, insurance brokers are to strengthen their roles in developing local potential, according to experts.

Insurance experts and chieftains at the sixth edition of Insurance Brokers Management Development, reinforced their positions on the development of the insurance industry.

The brokers who went through a three-day capacity development seminar organised by Guaranty Trust Assurance Plc (GTAssur) confirmed that the industry would be better positioned henceforth as the brokers’ skills were improved for better service delivery to the sector.

Mr. Ken Aghoghovbia, a facilitator at the seminar in his paper titled: Insurance Broking Business; Maintaining Relevance in a High Growth Economy, noted that the on-going economic reforms are expected to promote the growth and development of the Nigerian economy thus opening up opportunities for the insurers and insurance brokers.

He said that given Nigeria’s current position as the 6th largest insurance industry in Africa with a premium income of N186bn, the relatively low rate of insurance penetration at less than 1.0 per cent of GDP implies enormous headroom for growth. Nigerian insurance industry currently consists of 49 insurance companies, 436 brokerage firms, two local re-insurers and Africa Re.

Mr. Aghoghovbia said some government policies such as compulsory insurances, pension reform, Marine Cabotage Act and the Nigerian Content Development Act would impact on premium growth and the brokers’ incomes noting that the potential is very good for the brokers in the changing landscape of business in Nigeria. “The future of Nigerian oil and gas insurance will now lie first at the doorstep of the local broker before insurers,” he pointed out.

He however harped on the need for brokers to be dynamic in managing economic, socio-political, cultural and technological changes within the operating environment in order to remain relevant.

According to Aghoghovbia, insurance brokers need to position themselves to respond to the new challenges that will be facing the insurance industry in terms of risk management, corporate governance, rating committee, strategic alliance, technical assistance and information and communication technologies. He commended Nigerian brokers and urged them to continue to uphold a high level of professionalism and shun unhealthy competition.

Mr. Olufemi Edun, a seasoned economic analyst brainstormed on the emerging prospect of the Nigerian economy and the opportunities and challenges for the insurance industry, especially brokers.

Facilitators all agreed that given the designation of Nigeria as a high-growth economy and the various reforms in the financial services industry, Nigerian insurance brokering industry needs to position itself for effective market competitiveness and tap into opportunities created by improving enabling environment.

Guaranty Trust Assurance Plc, in line with its objective of building strong capacity within the Nigerian insurance industry, recently organized a three-day business management seminar for managing directors and executives of insurance brokers.

Mr. Tosin Runsewe, Chief Client Officer, Guaranty Trust Assurance Plc, reiterated the commitment of the company towards development of the Nigerian insurance industry assuring that the company would continue to partner with all stakeholders.

At the end of the seminar, delegates commended GTAssur for the opportunity to participate in this year’s programme and urged the company to assist brokers through provision of technical and technological capacity.

GTAssur, a composite insurance company, is a leading underwriter of all classes of risks and its shares are quoted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

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