NKIRUKA NNOROM & RITA OBODOECHINA
The board of Niger Insurance Plc has said that the company is repositioning itself to move to the top of the industry in the years ahead.
Addressing shareholders at the company’s 42nd annual general meeting in Lagos last week, Chairman of the company, Alhaji Bala Zakariya’u said that the company’s focus in the coming year will be to expand distribution channels, and improve product offering for better marketing of the company’s products.
Zakariya’u said, “Our focus is on creation of special markets for National Insurance Commission’s (NAICOM) compulsory insurance policies and Market Development and Restructuring Initiative (MDRI) programme as well as acquisition of modern tools for effective operations. We will also develop and deploy electronic platforms and facilities to all our regions and branches nationwide for quick and reliable service delivery.”
He added that the company will rebuild and refocus its investment portfolios by taking advantage of opportunities in the fixed income securities for safe and guaranteed returns, adding “We will equally diversify into oil and gas, telecommunications and other safe areas to grow our investment income.”
Meanwhile analysis of the company’s results for the year ended December 2011 shows that profit after tax stood at N1.23billion showing an impressive result from a loss position of N124million recorded in 2010.
Gross premium income rose from N7.04 billion in 2010 to N7.81 billion in 2011, while shareholders funds increased from N4.3 billion in 2010 to N5.5 billion, and total assets stood at N21.1 billion.
During the year under review, the company achieved an underwriting profit of N1.54 billion, while its profit from deposit administration increased significantly from N120 million to N1.53 billion.
Managing Director of the company,Mr. Justus Uranta said that the company recorded marginal profit, which is a modest achievement despite the harsh global economic climate.
He said, “There is a huge untapped market here that will provide a dependable source of new business through development of new products and outreach programmes. The insurance industry stands to benefit from the needs created by the countless of challenges in the country.
Talking on the company’s transformation, he stressed that the company is still in tone with its human capital development by way of sending key staff to both local and international training, adding that the training school at Anthony village has been giving a face lift in readiness for more enhanced in-house training.
According to him, the company’s former investment department has been enlarged and renamed treasury and investment department with a senior management staff as the new head.
He said “Our recent move to inject fresh funds via the capital market came out successful, with over 75 percent subscribed, adding that the company also has to re-lunch some key products into the market, expand branch network and information technology, build business alliances, and embark on more aggressive marketing.