- Sector Needs Capital, Professionalism and Democratisation
Tony Elumelu, Chairman, Heirs Holdings and United Bank for Africa Plc, says the importance of a vibrant, well capitalised and deep insurance sector to Nigeria’s economy cannot overemphasized.
In a keynote address recently at the 60th anniversary of the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB) conference, Elumelu explained that “not least in these testing times, our people need financial security, secure savings and protection against uncertainty. Our industry needs to offer simple, smart products that give value and deliver. We need an industry that is professional and can catalyse investment in key sectors such as power, infrastructure and housing”.
Elumelu congratulated the NCRIB on its anniversary and the role it has played, joining other prominent guests including Sunday Thomas, the Commissioner for Insurance, and Barrister Rotimi Edu, the President of NCRIB.
According to him, there is no room for complacency, because the sector needs to regain trust, stamp down on malpractice and fundamentally evolve its customer proposition to deepen the insurance penetration.
Emphasising the commitment of Heirs Holdings to the insurance industry, Elumelu said “our two insurance companies, Heirs Life Assurance and Heirs Insurance Limited, are both leading democratisation of access to insurance – which is a tool for financial inclusion, employment creation, poverty eradication and female advancement. In a country of two hundred million, we can, should and must be more relevant than we are today.
“I am an optimist, not a pessimist. I know that times are tough, but together we can, and we will transform our industry, create value, and provide solutions that demonstrate the value of insurance to our people,” he stressed.
Reiterating Elumelu’s stance, Mr. Thomas, called for more collaboration and effort in enabling access to insurance, stating that the industry could do more in this prospect
“It is a fundamental truth that the insurance sector exists for other sectors to thrive. A lot has been achieved, but there is still more work to be done. Until insurance becomes the oxygen that homes and other industries breathe, and a subject that is known to everyone, we have not arrived,” he stressed.
The NCRIB President appreciated Elumelu for delivering the keynote speech at the event, while making a commitment on behalf of the Council to further deepen insurance penetration in Nigeria.
For him, “the Council is already creating avenues through strategic engagements with notable governmental and non-governmental institutions to deepen the industry in the country”.
Heirs Insurance and Heirs Life are lead sponsors of the NCRIB 60th Anniversary, alongside investment group United Capital Plc and healthcare Management Company, Avon HMO, all investee companies of Heirs Holdings, a pan-African investment group, with a portfolio spread across 24 African countries and four continents.