By Rosemary Onuoha
THE insurance industry has recorded 22.2 per cent growth in gross premium income for the 2016 financial year at N380 billion as against N311 billion recorded in 2015.
Chairman of the Nigeria Insurers Association, NIA, Mr. Eddie Efekoha, disclosed this at the Association’s annual general meeting in Lagos last week. He said that the growth was in spite of the difficult operating environment which prevailed in the year in focus.
Efekoha said, “With the price of crude oil – Nigeria’s major revenue earner – falling below US$30 per barrel in the international market, epileptic power supply, cut throat inflation, internal conflicts between herdsmen and farmers, a near comatose economy and the prolonged recession had serious consequences on the operations of insurance companies.”
Efekoha, however, stated that the industry has continued to be the preferred investment destination for reputable players in the global insurance market.
He said, “We are optimistic that in spite of the challenges posed by the economy , the suspension of the FRC Corporate Governance Code, implementation and improved compliance with the ‘‘No premium, no cover’’ especially by the federal Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDA’s), improved anti-money laundry mechanisms, full implementation of international financial reporting standards (IFRS), improved enforcement of compulsory insurances, the renewed vigour by the government to improve the Ease of Doing Business in Nigeria and improvement in regulation coupled with the administrative ingenuity of chief executives, the insurance industry continues to be the preferred investment destination for reputable players in the global insurance market.”
On the Nigerian insurance industry database (motor module), Efekoha stated that it has continued to record resounding success especially in the area of providing real time on line solutions in eliminating fake insurance certificates from the market and verification of insurance documents.
On the marine module, Efekoha noted that it has been running and member companies are daily uploading on the platform. “At the end of May 2017, 33 member-companies have uploaded 65,000 marine policies. Members are encouraged to continue to upload their marine policies whilst plans are being made to bring on the stakeholders into the scheme.”
Efekoha said, “To further strengthen the digitalization of third party motor insurance documentation with a view to finally eliminate fake certificates, the association is working on the establishment of a common platform for the sale of Third Party motor insurance policies. The platform was demonstrated at the last Retreat of chief executive officers of member companies in March 2017. The association and the service provider are working hard to ensure that all the issues raised at the presentation are fully addressed and NAICOM’s buy-in is obtained before the proposed launch date of July 1, 2017.