Universal Insurance concluding arrangements to meet new capital base – MD

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Dr Ben Ujoatuonu, Managing Director, Universal Insurance Plc, at the April 2022 Edition NCRIB Members’ Evening on Tuesday in Lagos.
Lagos, April 26, 2022 (NAN) Dr Ben Ujoatuonu, Managing Director, Universal Insurance Plc, says the underwriting firm will soon conclude arrangements with major shareholders to meet the new capital base requirement through right issues before the end of the year.
Ujoatuonu stated this at the April 2022 Edition of the Nigeria Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB) Members’ Evening, sponsored by the insurer on Tuesday in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) had in 2020 mandated life insurance firms to meet a minimum paid-up capital of N8 billion, up from N2 billion while general insurance companies are expected to increase their paid-up capital to N10 billion, from the earlier N3 billion.
Composite insurance (life and non-life operators) were directed to recapitalise to N18 billion as against the previous N5 billion, while reinsurance businesses are now required to have a minimum capital of N20 billion from N10 billion obtainable in the past.

The exercise was however suspended, following a court order restraining the commission from proceeding with it.

The managing director said that the insurance company had been trading with capital far excess the current N3 billion.

“With the introduction of the new capital regime, we just need just a little margin to meet the required level of N10 billion, ” he said.

According to him, the insurer also ensures that it meets its claims obligations as at when due.

Ujoatuonu said: “We have consistently delighted our customers with prompt settlement of claims and this is the major reason why we are in business.

“Our key strategy to grow business for this year is to expand our market. In pursuit of this strategy, we are opening up more branches in Uyo, Apapa and Kano.

“Apart from the core conventional insurance business, our retail operations have been fully developed and is anchored completely on technology.”

According to him, the focus and deliberate effort of the insurance company in developing the retail business led to new products like Okada Pass, Shop Insurer, Driver Pass, School Fee Protection Plan, Kiddies Personal Accident Insurance, among others.

Ujoatuonu noted that following the approval to transact Micro-Insuance, the insurance firm would soon unveil many more product that would address the insurance needs of the public.

The managing director urged brokers to continue to extend their businesses to the insurance firm, saying, “it is stronger, better and has built capacity to handle all risks”.

In his address, Mr Rotimi Edu, President, NCRIB, described Universal Insurance as a broker friendly company and lauded its excellent service delivery and sponsoring of the event.

Edu charged its members to support the current administration of the council in fulfiling its promises by turning all perceived obstacles to stepping stones of great achievements.

He urged its members to take advantage of the collaboration between NCRIB and the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) to achieve the deeper penetration of insurance it desired.

The NCRIB boss urged Nigerians to actively participate in the 2023 general election and vote the right candidate that would engender peace, tranquility and progress in the country.

Edu charged the media to do a thorough job in reporting the electioneering processes without prejudice.

He also charged the Federal Government to wade into the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and meet the demands of the union, as it perceives poor handling of the education sector.