Posted By Lukman Omikunle
Using the Heirs Life and Heirs Insurance Model, the chairman of United Bank for Africa – the financial institution that transformed access to banking, made banking available to the people, in Nigeria, Africa, and outside the continent…
Tony Elumelu, the Chairman of Heirs Holdings has identified the major steps that will transform the Nigerian Insurance industry – make it a major contributor to the economy.
The visionary behind Heirs Life and Heirs Insurance disclosed the industry shapers at the 60th Anniversary of the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB).
The extraordinary businessman who lauded members of the NCRIB for facilitating insurance businesses in hundreds of billions of naira and made Nigerians happy over the years with their services and settled claims, however, pointed out that “But let us ask ourselves are we doing enough? We need to be candid and frank. Our industry’s contribution to national GDP is tiny. Our reputation could be better, our practices more professional, our promises to our customers always honoured”
Insisting that “There is much to be done in our industry, if it is to truly to realize its potential and serve our common good”, the founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, the revolutionary initiative that has filled the gap of capital and support networks for over 15,000 young African entrepreneurs, identified steps that will help to “achieve the highest levels of professionalism and dedication in delivering excellent service to the public.”
Advocating that NCRIB should lead the war against many of the unethical practices that have troubled the industry for years as one, Elumelu stated that “We as an industry need to enforce strict adherence to corporate governance by all NCRIB members, We should weed out non-registered and non-compliant members.”
Using the Heirs Life and Heirs Insurance Model, the chairman of United Bank for Africa – the financial institution that transformed access to banking, made banking available to the people, in Nigeria, Africa, and outside the continent (France, USA, UK, and, most recently, the UAE, in Dubai) urged insurance practitioners to embrace innovation – the power of and imperative of technology.
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“Innovation is inescapable. At Heirs Insurance and Heirs Life, we champion innovation – we cannot afford not to. The insurance industry can benefit from innovation across all aspects of our services. For this to happen, there is the need to reward and incentivise innovation across the industry. Set up industry annual innovation awards. The industry must also benchmark against global trends” Elumelu urged.
Added to his list of transformative steps is embracing the untapped market.
“It is time that the broker community began to shift focus to retail, because this is where the future of insurance lies in Nigeria. Brokers have the capacity to lead in this area.” the champion of a better Nigeria, Africa noted and charged that “ Profits from existing lines are not going to deepen insurance penetration, rather we must look at our biggest yet untapped market – the retail market.”
Providing further insight into a better future for the insurance industry, the businessman with successful business exploits to his name emphasized the need to create awareness and showcase the value of insurance to the public, promoting participation, particularly in the retail space.
“We must bridge the insurance awareness gap, if we are to make insurance attractive to Nigerians” he pointed out and went on to highlight the role that technology has to play in the scheme of things with the assertion that “To remain relevant in the modern business arena, the insurance broker community and, by extension, the entire Nigerian insurance industry, must embrace technology fully.
“NCRIB also needs to work towards positioning its members properly for digital integration, mediating between the insuring public and the underwriters digitally.”
Identifying the need to develop the next generation of talent to serve the Nigerian insurance industry as a needed move, the master entrepreneur named in the list of 100 Most Influential People by Time also advocated for collaboration within and outside the industry for a better tomorrow.
“The NCRIB and other insurance industry bodies should collaborate more, to deepen insurance penetration in Nigeria, the NCRIB should play a key role in government advocacy for pro-insurance laws and policies
“Apart from collaborating with other industry players…, redefining the brokerage profession will entail collaboration with non-industry practitioners as well. Eg, our regulators (CBN and NAICOM) should collaborate on clients KYC due diligence, Insurance remains a viable tool for financial inclusion in every country and Nigeria cannot be an exception.” The proponent of Africapitalism( a call-to-action for businesses to make decisions that will increase the economic and social wealth, alleviate poverty and facilitate shard prosperity coined by Elumelu) urged.