The Managing Director of Nigeria Reinsurance Corporation, Mrs. Isioma Chukwuma, said reforms in insurance industry will boost reinsurance businesses, in the long run.
Speaking exclusively to Daily Newswatch in Lagos, Chukwuma said though insurance awareness was still low in the country, she believes that all campaigns of the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) aimed at repositioning the industry for better would ensure that Nigerians begin to take insurance seriously thus, increasing its consumption among Nigerians.
“Unfortunately, insurance penetration and acceptance in the country is still very low. Because of this, the market has not really developed to where it ought to be. The opportunities are there, but because of low insurance awareness and penetration, our rate of growth is not as much as what we expected it to be, when compared to other countries of the world,” she indicated.
She added that South Africa and some countries in the East Africa are doing pretty well in reinsurance business in Africa, noting that they have been able to grow and expand their insurance market, such that it creates business opportunities for reinsurance companies.
If more Nigerians can buy insurance cover, she stressed that insurance companies will have more businesses that will increase the profitability of companies in the sector. This, she added, will also extend to reinsurance companies, in term of business volume that will enhance reinsurance growth.
According to her, “Moreover, as operators begin to increase awareness to improve on insurance mindset of Nigerians, I hope things will improve for better. All the programmes and policies of NAICOM which are aimed at creating this development will yield good result in the near future.”
Speaking on the future outlook of insurance industry, Nigeria Re boss said it looks bright, taking into consideration potentials and opportunities in this market. She said it was unfortunate that the industry could not achieve the N1trillion target set by NAICOM. She, however, believes that with the implementation of “No Premium No Cover”, recently made compulsory for all operators by NAICOM, the industry should be able to achieve that target.
“If everything is in place and everything is working out as it ought to be, I am of the opinion that in very near future we should be able to achieve, if not near, but something closer to the target that has been set for us,” he stressed.
She disclosed that the recent mergers and acquisitions in the insurance industry have created lots of opportunities for Nigeria Reinsurance Corporation.
She stated that the company was looking at long term opportunities to increase its business volume and profit. “We are looking at long-term opportunities that we can take advantage of, to increase our business volume and be able to stamp our feet in re-insurance market.
We have been in the market for quite a long time and we are flag-bearer of reinsurance business in the country. But for now, we are still trying to improve on our own market share of what is available,” she noted.