Despite falling oil prices and post-election uncertainties,the Nigerian insurance sector is looking into the future with broad optimism and confidence. Mr. Fola Daniel, Commissioner for Insurance, National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) says the industry is undergoing rapid transformation, thus requiring the strategic support of operators and other relevant stakeholders to enable the industry occupy its rightful position in the forefront of the financial services sector in Nigeria.
“It is our in NAICOM to superintend over an insurance industry that is flourishing, financially strong and viable,” the NAICOM chief said. “We shall continue with the drive towards positive transformation and development of the Nigerian insurance market.”
Mr. Edwin Igbiti, Group Managing Director/CEO, AIICO Insurance Plc, said the fact that insurance sector contributes only 0.5% of Nigeria’s overall Gross Domestic Product (GDP), at just over N300 billion implies the existence of huge opportunities for local and foreign
“The industry is still very far from where it wants to be. On the flip side however, this represents a big opportunity to players who decide to play the insurance game right,” he said.
“This view has been vindicated by the amount of foreign investment we saw in the sector in 2014 – AXA and Green Oaks acquired Mansard Insurance and Union Assurance just to mention a few. Investors view emerging markets as potential areas of opportunity and Nigeria is no different.”
Mr. Chike Mokwunye, Group Managing Director/CEO, Royal Exchange Plc, said the falling oil prices will adversely affect not only patronage for insurance from government establishment but other sectors of the economy since government spending cuts and taxes would affect economic growth negatively.
“On the other hand, such policy thrust may throw open new opportunities for the insurance industry in expanding the frontiers of its business and thereby create room for the industry to underwrite businesses in neglected segments of the Nigerian economy.”
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