By Rosemary Iwunze
Niger Insurance Plc said it paid N1.7 billion as claims in 2019. Chairman of the company, Dr Stephene Dike disclosed this at the 50th Annual General Meeting of the company in Lagos, stressing that the company’s financial performance was however affected by the harsh operating environment.
Dike said: “Acknowledging the dense competitive environment we operate in, our focus for the future is simply innovation. This will encompass innovation in processes, ensuring simplicity in all areas of the company.
“The uncertainties in the global and domestic economies have introduced additional negative dimensions to the challenges facing insurance companies in Nigeria.
“These uncertainties and challenges have been further exacerbated by the recapitalisation order announced by the National Insurance Commission.
“We are judiciously and diligently working to meet the capital required for our company to continue to operate as a composite insurance company. Our financial advisers, Chapel Hill Denham and Mainstreet Bank Capital Limited, have been working assiduously to ensure successful recapitalisation of the company.”
Also speaking at the AGM, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Niger Insurance, Edwin Igbiti stated: “In response to the company’s liquidity challenges, which delayed the settlement of outstanding claims, the company has been aggressive in its efforts to unlock capital through to restructuring of its investment portfolio while divesting from under-performing asset classes.
“Consequently, the company was able to pay claims and benefits totalling N1.7 billion in 2019 against N1.6 billion paid in 2018. In 2019, Niger Insurance made important changes to optimise its business and leadership to align with the company’s new strategic direction and drive its transformation objectives.
“These changes were necessary to boost growth, simplify our ways of working, and improve operational efficiency and resilience.
“We now have greater focus, commercial rigor and accountability throughout the organization. These fundamentals will help us build momentum for current and future earnings growth.
“Notwithstanding the economic headwinds and legacy issues facing the company, we are committed to the swift turnaround and transformation of this great company.”