By Ebere Nwoji
The volume of businesses written by insurance companies grew from N315.96 billion in 2016 to an estimated N363 billion in 2017.
This was revealed by the immediate past Chairman, Nigeria Insurers Association (NIA), Mr Eddie Efekoha, while speakingÂ on theÂ insurance industry’s financial performance for the year ended December 31st, 2017.
Efekoha, who stated this at the 47th Annual General Meeting of the associationÂ held in Lagos recently, where heÂ presented hisÂ two years score cardÂ as the helmsman of theÂ NIA, said the above premium was raked in by the operating firms within the period despiteÂ the prevailing challenges facing the entire global financial markets.
InÂ Nigeria, Efekoha, said in the year 2017, insurance firms had to grapple with challenges of epileptic power supply and dilapidated infrastructure such as roads and other public facilities, all whichÂ according to him, exposed the industry toÂ increased cost of operations.
“This coupled with a suffocating tax regime impacted the bottom line of insurance companies,” Efekoha said.
He said despite these challenges, the insurance industry, during the period under review continued to perform its role of financial intermediation and business restorationÂ in line with its mandate.
“The volume of business writtenÂ by the market grew from N315.96 billion in 2016 to an estimated N363 billion in 2017, representing an expected increase of 15 percent over 2016 figure,” he said.
Efekoha, said to ensure a more robust performance in the current business year,Â the industry operators in collaboration with the National Insurance commission (NAICOM) embarked on various initiatives to deepen insurance penetration.
These initiatives according to him, included, the insurance industry roadmap; financial inclusion; micro insurance; bancassurance and the insurance industry rebranding project.
He noted that the associationâ€™s Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) initiative and other strategic efforts would increase insurance uptake by the public.
Meanwhile, at the meeting, the association’s leadership baton was transferred from Efekoha to Mr Tope Smart, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer NEM Insurance Plc.
In the year 1995, Smart joined Vigilant Insurance Company Limited as the General Manager/Chief Executive Officer. He was responsible for the overall growth and development of the organisation. In view of the outstanding results posted in two years, the Board in 1997 approved his elevation to the position of Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer with shareholding in the company.
In 2007, he successfully spearheaded the merger arrangement between Vigilant Insurance Company Limited and NEM Insurance Plc. After the merger, Smart was appointed the Managing Director of the merged entity.