Experts from various sectors of the Nigerian economy have made a strong case for a dynamic, innovative and robust Insurance Industry.
This was the focus of the discourse at the 2017 Insurance September forum, which was an opportunity to review the Insurance sector and what needs to be done to reposition it.
Convener of the forum Mr Ekerete Ola-Gam Ikon described the platform as an avenue to engage customers who have concerns with the insurance industry, with a view to addressing them.
According to him “ Insurance September explores how the Industry, can be attractive to Nigerians and become more customer- centric”. He believed it will create more room for strategic collaborations between the Insurance industry and other related sectors of the economy.
Speaking on the investment side of the Nigerian Insurance industry Mr Stanley Zebulon said there was need for a proper reorientation in the sector, as there were immense opportunities for it to grow in the country. He however noted that the issue of pricing needs to be resolved in the industry, to make it viable.
In terms of scale, depth and capacity, Mr Dienye Peterside a chartered marketer believed it was time for the integration of the informal into the insurance space. Peterside shared that Nigeria should learn from Rwanda who currently has a robust and comprehensive national insurance scheme that is all encompassing.
Mr Peterside decried the fact that while Insurance companies in the United States and Europe owned banks, the reverse was the case in Nigeria with banks acquiring insurance companies.
Giving his perspective from the unfolding digital revolution , Mr Abiodun Atobatele asserted that the Nigerian Insurance Industry, required critical transformation to deliver valuable service to the citizens.
Analyzing the contribution to GDP in the economic sphere, Atobatele in a comparative showed in a presentation that while Nigeria’s insurance sector gave 0.4% in 2016, South Africa did 13%. The ICT consultant/expert identified four ways insurance companies can embrace the digital transformation namely; empowering employees, improving communications channels, optimizing operations and transforming products to adapt to changes and innovations.
A brand consultant Mr Charles O’Tudor in his brief remarks made a strong case for the industry to think about customers in its branding process, and fully adopt the innovative platforms to delivering effective service.
In her intervention Edobong Akpabio an Agripreneur called for an improved customer service relations strategy, that will engage the customers, sensitize them and also add value to the industry.
Also sharing her perspective Ini Abimbola a consultant, called on the Insurance industry, to give consideration to micro-insurance initiatives that will target the MSMEs in the country.