Tony Elumelu, Chairman, Heirs Holdings and United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA), has underlined the importance of a vibrant, well capitalised and deep insurance sector as a panacea for a vibrant and strong national economy.
In a well illuminated delivery, Elumelu stated that a strong insurance sector produces the wings to lift and fly a strong economy and this he reasoned resonates with all strong economies and Nigeria’s cannot be an exception.
Elumelu stated this while giving a keynote address at the recent 60th anniversary of the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB) conference in Lagos.
He said the present times has reinforced the necessity of a strong insurance sector, “Not least in these testing times, our people need financial security, secure savings and protection against uncertainty. Our industry needs to offer simple, smart products, that give value and deliver. We need an industry that is professional and can catalyse investment in key sectors such as power, infrastructure and housing”.
Elumelu congratulated the NCRIB on its anniversary and the role it has played, joining other prominent guests including Commissioner for Insurance and the President of NCRIB. But he stated there was no room for complacency, with the sector needing to regain trust, stamp down on malpractice and fundamentally evolve its customer proposition to deepen the insurance penetration.
Emphasising the commitment of Heirs Holdings to the insurance industry, he said: “Our two insurance companies, Heirs Life Assurance and Heirs Insurance Limited, are both leading democratisation of access to insurance – which is a tool for financial inclusion, employment creation, poverty eradication and female advancement. In a country of two hundred million, we can, should and must be more relevant than we are today. I am an optimist, not a pessimist. I know that times are tough, but together we can, and we will transform our industry, create value, and provide solutions that demonstrate the value of insurance to our people.”
Reiterating Elumelu’s stance, Mr. Sunday Thomas, Commission for Insurance called for more collaboration and effort in enabling access to insurance, stating that the industry could do more in this prospect.
He said: “It is a fundamental truth that the insurance sector exists for other sectors to thrive. A lot has been achieved, but there is still more work to be done. Until insurance becomes the oxygen that homes and other industries breathe, and a subject that is known to everyone, we have not arrived”.
Heirs Insurance and Heirs Life are lead sponsors of the NCRIB 60th Anniversary, alongside investment group United Capital Plc and healthcare management company, Avon HMO, all investee companies of Heirs Holdings, a pan-African investment group, with a portfolio spread across 24 African countries and four continents.