The new chairman, board of Guinea Insurance Plc, Godson Ugochukwu, has charged insurance sector operators to always take advantage of growth opportunities around them to increase insurance penetration in the country and enhance insurance awareness among Nigerians there by increase the sector’s contribution to GDP.
Ugochukwu, who gave the charge, in an interview with THISDAY in his office in Lagos, said for Guinea Insurance, the present economic recession in the country cannot limit its determination to achieve success in the current business year.
“We have positioned ourselves to go with the current tide of structural and operational changes in the insurance industry. There has been a renewed focus on corporate governance and the Board has spent a significant proportion of its time examining and strengthening the operational processes throughout the company. Having a solid corporate governance framework is the key to rebuilding trust and transparency with all stakeholders.”
He stated that contrary to fears that the decline in national revenue occasioned by the fall in oil price and depreciation in the naira value, would spell hardship for insurance industry as expressed recently by insurance practitioners, he believes that the insurance sector has the potential to grow volumes and enhance shareholders’ value.
He however said this requires insurance companies to device means of taking advantage of growth opportunities around them because adding that doing so, would not only increase its penetration but also, enhance awareness and the sector’s contribution to GDP.”
“As a company destined for greatness and propelled by a Board of Directors and Management team with insatiable thirst for success, we keep the faith that there are no limits, there are only plateaus. We have therefore, taken steps to ensure that our greatest asset – our people, are enhanced through human capital investment. I am pleased to say, that in such a short while, we are beginning to experience growth in our business. I therefore, make bold to say that the future is indeed very promising, ” the New Guinea Insurance helmsman stated.
He called on the government to provide the necessary regulatory mechanisms, conducive business environments and ensure full enforcement of compulsory insurances in Nigeria as it would not only drive the growth of the sector but also, contribute significantly to the growth of the country. He however expressed regret on government’s lack of political will to enforce certain laws and policies which he said were serious headwinds that have slowed down the growth of the industry.
He noted that insurance underwriting in Nigeria was an extremely worthwhile venture but, requires government’s intervention especially at this time when the current economic crisis occasioned by high inflation and low disposable income, have significantly impacted on the performance of insurance practitioners. “When economies experience downturn, the first casualty is insurance. We have seen a lot of reduction in interest for insurance as lot of people who naturally would buy insurance, would regard it as a secondary issue due to the fact that insurance business thrives on the back of the economy” he said.