Nigeria Insurance industry closed the performance sheet of the 2019 on high success points spread through year and into the first quarter of 2020.
Counting from rallying performance – industry response to covid-19 pandemic the immediate past NIA chairman Mr Tope Smart, said the global concern posed a serious challenge to the Association and the entire Nigerian insurance industry.
Smart said the virus has not only disrupted businesses but also forced member companies to activate their business continuity strategies “and we are happy that they have responded adequately to the challenges posed by the disease.”
He also noted the Association collaboration with other arms of the industry to provide life insurance cover for 5000 health workers and volunteers such as doctors, pharmacist, nurses and other ancillary personnel in the front line of the battle against covid-19.
The scale of benefits under the scheme are; doctors – N3m, pharmacists and nurses N2m, ancillary personnel N1m. the association also donated N500m to the federal government as additional support in the fight against the pandemic.
The feat by the insurance industry earned them Presidential recognition and Smart regarded it as “the highest level of recognition by any government” nothing that it was a call to duty and a challenge to do more”.
“Riding on the momentum created, we need to upscale over engagements with government so as to build on the goodwill presented by the presidential recognition.
He also reeled out the engagement with various stakeholders since the insurance industry recapitalisation exercise was announced May 2019 – these include the regulator – NAICOM, Nigeria Stock Exchange, Corporate Affairs Commission and Federal Inland Revenue Service, on the need to grant reliefs/palliatives to members during the exercise. “We are confident that these engagements will have positive outcomes”
Another milestone was the Financial Act 2020, which laid to rest the prolonged battle to resolve the huge tax burden imposed on insurance companies by the Companies Income Tax Act 20007 (as amended).
He recognised the support received from ministry of finance budget and national planning, NAICOM and KPMG Professional Services “for bringing the vexed issue to a successful conclusion.
He also recognised the granting of the hosting rights to the Nigeria insurance market for the 47th African Insurance Organisation, which was postponed from May 31st – July 3rd 2020 to October 3rd – 7th 2020.
Others include the on-going NIA house project, which the main and sub-contractors have assured that the slight delay caused by the covid-19 pandemic will not significantly affect the expected delivery date.
The industry rebranding project, improved relationship with other regulators and improved relationship with other arms of the industry, would continue to be robust and mutually beneficial.
At the sub regional level, he said the industry has made remarkable strides with the ECOWAS Brown Card Scheme, West African Insurance Companies Association (WAICA) and he expressed confidence that the insurance market would continue to show leadership and be in the forefront in driving initiatives aimed at developing the insurance market at the continental and sub-regional levels.