Underwriting companies in the country have been advised to increase their financial capacity to compete with foreign insurers in underwriting oil and gas as well as aviation risks.
Stakeholders who gathered at a session by the Nigerian Council for Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB) at the recent 2021 Lagos International Trade Fair, called on the industry to rise to the task of providing adequate insurance covers for all sectors and individuals.
With adequate capacity, they suggested, stakeholders in high-risk sectors will not need to engage international insurance firms but patronise local firms.
The President, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Toki Mabogunje, who spoke at the event, charged insurance companies to build capacity that would enable them to handle big international deals in the oil and gas, maritime and aviation sectors that were hitherto handled by foreign insurance brands for their top-rated transactions.
However, she tasked the government at all levels to patronise local insurers for their massive insurance deals.
”The insurance sector must rise to the task of providing adequate and professional insurance covers for willing policyholders,” she said.
Mabogunje added that risk management and business continuity have become critical factors in enterprise sustainability and prosperity in the post-pandemic era, adding that “We are in a world of growing uncertainties, emerging risks and increasingly exposed to danger in society.”
She further urged Nigerians to embrace insurance but noted that the onus is on players to embark on extensive awareness to properly educate the people on the benefits of insurance in mitigating risks.
LCCI boss described insurance as critical to business, economic sustainability and national growth.
NCRIB President, Rotimi Edu, said the focus of his administration is “broker centrism,” and expressed the council’s preparedness to drive the industry growth through awareness.
Edu expressed worry about building collapse, especially the most recent 21-Storey building at Gerard Street, which he said, did not have insurance cover.
He, therefore, called on the government and other relevant authorities to ensure the enforcement of compulsory insurance.
Edu dismissed misconceptions that the insurance industry does not pay claims, stating that the players pay genuine claims and that the issue of non-claim payment was in the past.
He described insurance as the bedrock of every economy, stating that the NCRIB, in collaboration with other stakeholders, was working hard to increase insurance accessibility and acceptability through the enlightenment.
Speaking on the topic ‘Why Insurance’, the President of African Insurance Organisation and Managing Director, NEM Insurance Plc, Tope Smart, educated participants at the forum on the critical role insurance plays in an economy. Smart, described insurance as a transfer mechanism where insured risks are transferred to insurance companies in return for payment of a premium.