By Rosemary Onuoha

As Nigeria’s economy braces up for a slide into recession following the collapse in oil prices at the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, the immediate past Chairman of the Nigerian Insurers Association, NIA, Mr. Tope Smart, has advised that insurance operators must imbibe the culture of financial discipline to survive.

Making this assertion in a chat with Vanguard, Smart noted that operators must activate their risk management mechanism going forward.

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Smart stated: “As economic recession looms, this is the time to eliminate unreasonable expenses and conserve resources as much as possible in preparation for economic downturn.  In addition, the risk management mechanism of each company must be activated in order to withstand the headwinds that may come.”

Smart noted that the priority of operators should be market development, hence they should come up with strategies to develop the market, adding: “By so doing, we shall increase market penetration and also increase our contribution to the GDP.

“Insurance companies should also focus on confidence building in the minds of the insuring public by meeting their obligations as and when due.  Once this is done, members of the public will be motivated towards embracing insurance.  Rules should be designed and companies who fail to play by the rules should be sanctioned.

Smart stressed that every player must key into sound initiatives of the NIA as getting every player to key into projects has always been a challenge.

He said: “A major challenge I encountered when I was NIA Chairman was getting every player to key into some laudable initiatives I considered very germane to the upliftment of the industry.  Some of our members allowed their selfish motives to override the overall corporate interest of the industry.  Until we are able to promote corporate interest over our individual parochial interests, the industry may not be able to reach its full potentials.”


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