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Niger Insurance: Transforming & Repositioning for Excellence, Growth

L-R: EKPERAHWA JAMES (HEAD, FINANCE & ACCOUNT), ALESHINLOYE ROTIMI (HEAD, STRATEGY & PERFORMANCE), LEKE OGUNBAMBO (HEAD, LEGAL & COMPLIANCE), KUPONIYI KUNLE (HEAD, ICT), IGBITI EDWIN (MD/CEO), UMUOLO JANE (HEAD, GROUP LIFE BUSINESS), SALAMI ADEMOLA (CHIEF FINANCE OFFICER), SETH EPELLE (HEAD, MARKETING)

 At a recent breakfast meeting, Niger Insurance Plc, one of the foremost composite insurance companies in Nigeria shared with members of the press the company’s growth & transformation plan.

Designed to reposition this well-known company for service excellence and competitiveness in a rapidly changing operating landscape, the company’s transformation blueprint over the next 5years (2020 to 2024) focuses on operational and technological advancements in delivering bespoke Insurance solutions to businesses, institutions and the growing populace of Nigeria.

The implementation of the transformation plan already began in the fourth quarter of 2019 following the appointment of the company’s new MD/CEO – Mr. Edwin Igbiti, a vastly experienced and well- respected business leader who recently completed five meritorious years as MD of AIICO Insurance Plc.

The need for Niger Insurance Plc’s transformation is underscored by a combination of market & regulatory changes. Having been in operations for 57years, it had become imperative to address legacy challenges as well as innovate to achieve service excellence, agility and & competitiveness.

According to the MD/CEO, Edwin Igbiti, the three pillars of the transformation plan are:

  • Strengthening our balance sheet (financial strength)
  • Strengthening our People (Talent & Innovation)
  • Strengthening our business model (Sustained growth & Profitability)

In order to ensure a successful execution of this plan, the company recently reconstituted a new Board-of-Directors, a new management team and an array of strategic partnerships.

At its 49th AGM which held on 21 November 2019, the company’s shareholders approved its  recapitalisation plan to meet the new regulatory capital requirements through (i) an equity capital raise via rights issue and/or private placement and ii) a business combination by way of merger or acquisition, which must all be completed by 30 June, 2020.

Mr. Ademola Salami, the company’s new Chief Financial Officer (CFO) while providing a progress update said: “Working with our Financial Advisers, the Board and Management of the company are already engaging with foreign and local investors that have shown interest in the company. High-level negotiations are on-going and we expect to secure substantive offers for investment in the coming weeks.”

In response to the situation regarding unpaid claims & outstanding customer benefits, the MD expressed regret and attributed the delay to the company’s large asset portfolio which is skewed towards fixed assets.

He however assured the audience that the company’s assets are more than sufficient to settle all its liabilities and that it has made significant progress towards liquidating some fixed assets to unlock cash and pay down all outstanding obligations soon..

He stated that Niger Insurance Plc has paid over N1.4bn to customers in the past nine months and used the opportunity to assure all others that their claims will be paid soonest. He thanked all of its customers for their patience, trust and understanding during this challenging period in its long and otherwise stellar history while reaffirming the company’s renewed sense of responsibility and commitment to excellence.

There is a growing sense of purpose at Niger Insurance Plc these days; it feels like a new dawn with management, staff and shareholders all working with passion and a common intent to write a great story in this new chapter of the company’s long and chequered history.

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