The Chairman, Heirs Holdings and United Bank for Africa Plc, Tony Elumelu, has said the Nigerian insurance industry needs to be vibrant and must possess capital, professionalism and democratisation which are foundations for a strong Nigeria.
Elumelu said this while delivering his keynote address at the 60th anniversary of the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers Conference in Lagos.
He said, “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.”
While congratulating NCRIB on its anniversary and the role it had played, Elumelu said, there was no room for complacency, with the sector needing to regain trust, clamp down on malpractice and fundamentally evolve its customer proposition to deepen the insurance penetration.
Speaking on 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 200 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.”
The Commissioner for Insurance, Mr Sunday Thomas, called for more collaboration and efforts in enabling access to insurance.
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.”
The President, NCRIB, Mr Rotimi Edu, appreciated Elumelu for delivering the keynote address at the event, while making a commitment on behalf of the council to further deepen insurance penetration in Nigeria.
“The council is already creating avenues through strategic engagements with notable governmental and non-governmental institutions to deepen the industry in the country,” he said.