Mr. Tope Smart, the new chairman, Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA) has promised to deliver sustainable growth for the insurance industry in Nigeria through his 5-Point Agenda driven by INSURANCE FIRST model.
Smart said the 5-Point Agenda will drive the direction of his service to the Association for the next two years thus:
- Protection of Interest of Member Companies
More than ever before, I will ensure the protection of the interest of member companies. In order to achieve this, I seek the cooperation of everyone and appeal to all of us to be united and stand together. This way, we can take the Industry to greater heights.
- Proper Positioning of the Insurance Industry
As I mentioned before, there is a huge gap between where we are supposed to be and where we are today. The question is who are the agents to fill the gap? The answer to this question is not difficult. We are the one. We must begin to do what is right. How can we do this?
There are various ways. Deployment of good technology to drive our operations, development of human capital, reaching the unreached – setting and working towards a financial inclusion target for the industry, putting in place, an excellent customer satisfaction mechanism, increase insurance awareness through many channels, build capacity for the industry are some of the ways by which we can properly position the industry.
- Improve the Standard of Professionalism
Many of you will agree with me that the level of professionalism in the industry is very low compared with global best practice. The rates charged more often than not for risks presented for insurance do not correlate with such risks. There is need to have a total departure from this practice.
- To Put in Place a Befitting Edifice for NIA
As many of you are already aware, plans are on to build a befitting edifice for NIA. The building when completed shall be called NIA Towers. I must commend the effort of the Past Chairmen, particularly, the immediate Past Chairman of the Association for the good job he has done in this area. The flag off of the project has already been done. We are awaiting approval from the relevant authorities for us to commence work in earnest.
- Deepen Insurance Penetration
In my opening remarks, I talked about the low level of insurance penetration, particularly when compared with other markets in Africa. Presently, for a population size of about 200 million, industry penetration is less than .5%. You will all agree with me that this is not good enough. We must collectively work together to increase the penetration level. In this regard, NIA will work with all arms of the industry such as Brokers, CIIN and NAICOM to achieve this.