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Insurance, Pension Operators Tasked On Investment Drive, Proper Information Dissemination 

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Mr. Nona Awoh, financial analyst (left), and Mr. Lekan Otufodunrin, Executive Director, Media Career Development Network, during the National Association of Insurance and Pension Correspondents (NAIPCO) training workshop in Lagos recently.

 

Insurance and pension operators in Nigeria have been charged to embark on aggressive investment drive, while providing regular information to their shareholders and other stakeholders.

A financial analyst, Mr. Nona Awo, also urged insurance and pension operators to avail journalists of relevant data to ensure proper dissemination of information to the teeming populace.

He spoke at the 2020 National Association of Insurance and Pension Correspondents (NAIPCO) Members’ Training on Developmental Financial Journalism in Lagos recently. 

Awo pointed out that even though the primary duty of the insurer is to collect premium the policyholders and pay claims to these policyholders when the need arises, it is, however, first an investment targeted at curbing risk.

He revealed that there are a lot of investment windows in the country when maximised capable of placing the insurance industry in a better position to increase its contribution to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

“It is important to talk about investment in insurance as it tells you about today and tomorrow returns,” he said. He called on insurers to appoint investment experts on their board of Directors to make good profit from investment made.

He highlighted poor investment habit as one of the major reasons why some insurers find it difficult to settle claims when it arises. “One of the major challenges in the industry is claims settlement which can be resolved with proper investment plans that gives outstanding returns,” he stressed.

In a similar vein, media career development specialist, Mr. Lekan Otufodunrin, who spoke on Developmental Reporting and Opportunities,  described data journalism as the ability to analyse and examine numbers and to know how to manage large data sets and read them correctly.

During his address, Otufodunrin urged journalists to focus more on reporting and analysing data while reporting insurance activities to promote awareness and sensitise the public on the need to insure.

According to him, story telling should be enhanced with infographics, data analysis, transcripts, to mention but a few

He stressed that, the industry needs a workflow that consists of digging deep into data by scraping, cleansing and structuring it, filtering by mining for specific information, visualising and making a story.

“Our platforms are no longer traditional, we are now multi-mediaour audience are now more sophisticated and have access to multiple sources of information” he added.

 

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Business

AIICO Insurance Records N60.7bn Gross Premium

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Olalandu said that the N60.7 billion represented 21.3 per cent growth, when compared to the 2019 financial year figure of N50.1 billion.

He attributed the growth to continuous investment in the agency’s force, increased focus on partnerships and better relationship with corporates.

The spokesman said that the firm recorded an underwriting loss of N36.3 billion in 2020 compared to N7.7 billion in 2019.

He hinged the loss on two main factors — reserving requirements for new policies underwritten in the life business in 2020 and changes in actuarial reserves in the life business for policies written in 2020 and prior years.

“There were significant movements in investment yields which affected the value of liabilities and assets in our life business.

“On the short and long ends of the yield curve, yields declined by about 7.7 per cent and 5.5 per cent respectively in 2020.

” The effects of these changes are reflected in the change in life and annuity funds, as well as fair value gains or losses on the income statement.

” In addition, changing client preferences mean that there has been a change in our retail product mix.

“Some of these products require higher reserving requirements which results in an increase in our liabilities, thereby reducing reported underwriting profits, ” he said.

According to him, the underwriting performance in the general business also declined due to increased claims in fire because of the civil unrest across the country and special oil lines.

Olalandu said that the investment income of the insurer grew by 13.1 percent year-on- year to N11.7 billion in 2020 financial year from N10.4 billion in 2019 financial year from increased assets under management.

He said profit before tax from continuing operations declined by 22.6 per cent year-on-year to N4.6 billion in 2020 financial year from N6.0 billion in 2019 financial year.

According to him, the drop was due to the lower-than-expected profits in the company’s Life business as a result of higher-than-expected reserving requirements/low yields.

“However, our General Insurance and Wealth Management businesses increased their contribution to profits,” he said.

Olalandu said that the profit after tax from continuing operations declined by 12.9 per cent year-on-year to N5.0 billion in 2020 from N5.7 billion in 2019 financial year.

He said profit for the year declined by 11.1 per cent year-on-year to N5.2 billion in 2020 financial year from N 5.9 billion in 2019 financial year.

The spokesman said the company’s total asset increased by 52.4 per cent to N 243.1 billion in 2020 financial year from N159.5 billion in 2019 financial year.

According to him, AIICO’s total liability also grew by 59.6 per cent to N 208.4 billion in 2020 financial year from N130.6 billion in 2019 financial year.

He said the firm’s total equity increased by 19.9 per cent to N34.7 billion in 2020 financial year from N28.9 billion in 2019 financial year.

The company’s Managing Director, Babatunde Fajemirokun, was quoted  as saying that the pandemic caused a questionable global marketplace and led to a global economic upheaval.

Fajemirokun explained that the Nigerian economy slipped into its second recession in five years, with the business environment further impacted by incidents of civil unrest.

“Despite these unprecedented macroeconomic disruptions, AIICO grew its total assets by 52.5 per cent in the year under review.

“We delivered sound results having taken decisive early actions to protect our workforce, improve our financial strength, streamline operations and reinforce our distribution strategy.

“Over the past five years, we invested substantially in human capital and technology to significantly elevate our customer experience.

“This resulted in our gross written premiums growing 23.6 per cent year-on-year despite restrictions caused by the pandemic, ” he said.

According to the managing director, the company’s financial position remains strong, inspiring confidence in its ability to assume the risks its customers wish to transfer.

Fajemirokun said the insurer’s investors showed their commitment, as its rights issue announced in September 2020 was oversubscribed by about 26 per cent.

He noted that the capital was deployed judiciously, generating risk-adjusted returns for its shareholders and ensuring that it continues to keep its promises.

(NAN)

 

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Business

NAIC Settles N848m Claims In 2020

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The Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation (NAIC) paid N848 million as insurance claims to its insured farmers in 2020, the company’s Managing Director, Mrs Folashade Joseph, said.

She stated that the corporation paid N856m to its policyholders who suffered losses in 2019.

“NAIC, since its establishment as an agricultural risk management agency of the Federal Government, has continued to deliver on its major mandates of providing succor to farmers and comfort to financial institutions which lend to participants in the primary agricultural production sector.
“To serve its clients who are located across the country, the corporation has very experienced and dedicated staff in every state of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, ” she said.
The management of the corporation urged agricultural investors and lending institutions to continue to partner with NAIC, stressing that the organisation is  committed to the food security agenda of the Federal Government and intervention of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

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Insurance

REGIC Opts To Focus On Retail Insurance Market

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The Managing Director of Royal Exchange General Insurance Company (REGIC), Mr. Benjamin Agili has stated that his company will focus its digital transformation strategies and efforts on the retail side of the general insurance market in Nigeria.

A statement from the company quoted Agili as saying “we at Royal Exchange General see the enormous potential in the retail insurance space in Nigeria and will deploy various products, strategies and tools to ensure we can effectively operate in the retail space and be a dominant player therein.

According to him, “REGIC recently implemented a new insurance software, of which we are already seeing the impact with greater turnaround times, and as a company, we are able to respond faster to our clientele. We have been able to automate our processes, technical operations and the claims process, all in a bid to ensure we are able to respond faster to clients at all times.

He further added “Royal Exchange General Insurance Company has also developed a new e-business portal for the sale of our retail insurance products and this is currently undergoing beta-testing and user-acceptance tests before being launched to the general public. In addition, we are also developing a mobile application that will give our clients the ability to purchase products anytime, anywhere and this will be available for download from the Apple and Google stores. This gives our customers the freedom to choose. The mobile app will also come with other features that will make it relevant for everyday use”, Mr. Agili said.

“The essence of going digital for Royal Exchange General Insurance is to improve our customers experience, improve accessibility to make insurance purchases for the general public, while ensuring that we work faster and smarter as a company, the MD added. He stated further that “this digital journey for REGIC has entailed a huge financial outlay, one that we believe REGIC will benefit from in the years to come as the world goes digital. Digital is the future and we strongly believe in offering services to our clients in a digital world”.

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