Insurance and Pension professionals have been advised to make a detour from the business routes that are not welcoming the critical mass of policyholders and subscribers and adopt creative and innovative service delivery that will transform the two sectors within a short period.
Stakeholders, a coalition of financial experts, continental caliber insurer and insurers themselves, a situation akin to physician heal thyself, was the front presented to create a paradigm shift in business approach at the 8th annual national conference of the Nigerian Association of Insurance and Pension Editors (NAIPE), with the theme: “Role of Insurance and Pension In Building Sustainable Economic Growth Under The New Government,” held in Lagos on Thursday.
Their submissions a connecting route traversing several points: uninterrupted manpower development, IT compliant as it relates to today’s business and its inherent disruptions, a friendly regulator and overriding the government providing and sustaining a enabling environment.
In his contribution at a panel session, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Scib Insurance Brokers, Mr. Shola Tinubu, was unambiguous on the need for government to roll out creative policies and regulations that are business-friendly and growth-driven for the two sectors which he intoned, are regarded as an integral part of insurance industry in the developed climes but have been separated in Nigeria.
Tinubu explained that he was insisting government should stick with creating enabling environment rather being a clog in the business arena of both sectors and, he cited the government approach to raising capital which he reiterated had been driven by statutory mandates, and was common in such periods was that the brochures of different companies on what the the capital be used for were similar as if the copied from each other “We are talking about the regulator mandating the players to get certain quantum of capital without creating ground for that capital.
“Meaning that companies have to strive for capital just to stay in business and what has happened in the various rounds that we had was that there was no creative idea for channeling the capital.”
However, he cleared that if any company decides on its own to go to the capital market to raise capital, such a company will channel the capital effectively for the growth of the business.
Tinubu also pushed further into investment upgrade in the industry insisting the industry noted that the industry need investment managers who can digest investment ideas and get the returns that matches creative thinking.
In his view, the Managing Director, ARM Pension, Mr. Wale Odutola, represented by Mrs. Abimbola Suleiman, ED, Investment, ARM Pension, said every household has a need for basic insurance and a basic pension plan to improve lives.
“When insurance handles the risks for businesses and the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) takes care of Pension liabilities, this will go a long way to ensure productivity and growth in the nation’s finance sector.
“There are currently nine million people in the CPS net and this is abysmally low when compared to the nation’s population. Hence, there is need to get all state governments involved and the participation of the informal sector in CPS,” he said. Holding to the aligned view of the other resource persons Odutola said deepening the scope of participation requires innovations and creativity from operators
Ms. Prisca Soares, former Secretary General of the African Insurance Organisation (AIO) said lack of skilled manpower, especially the dearth of Actuaries, is presently challenging the insurance industry.
Soares said the industry needs a combative effort to address its manpower development on all fronts of its operations. “When you do risk base capital you need actuaries to get it right. The insurance industry needs conscious efforts to address this because it is critical to their business,” she said.
Also, Mr. Oguche Aguda, Chief Executive Officer of the Pension Operator Association of Nigeria (PenOp) represented by Mr. Akinbola Akintola,Head of Research Department at PenOp, said, the insurance and pension sectors are facing the same challenge of public confidence.
Oguche charged operators in both sectors to make their brand fit into the financial requirements, adding that if there is no confidence, there is no growth and without growth of the two sectors, the country’s economy cannot grow.
The Group Managing Director, Consolidated Hallmark Insurance(CHI), Mr. Eddie Efekoha represented by Tunde Daramola, ED, Finance at CHI, stressed the need to enforce compulsory insurances and pension, as the era of non-payment of claims have gone.
Efekoha urged operators in both industries to be honest with their businesses, gain the trust of consumers and also bridge their expectation gaps.