The volume of business written by the insurance Industry has grown to N490bn, thus representing an increase of 15.55% when compared with N413.8 billion recorded in 2018 financial year.

Addressing shareholders at the 49th Annual General Meeting (Virtual) of the Nigerian Insurers Association, the Chairman, Mr Tope Smart said, “It is expected that the various initiatives embarked on by the Association in conjunction with other stakeholders such as financial inclusion, micro insurance, the insurance industry rebranding project, the Association’s USSD initiative and the Nigerian Insurance Industry Platform for sale of Third Party Motor Insurance coupled with other strategic efforts by the regulator will further deepen insurance penetration and encourage insurance uptake by the public”.

According to him, during the past year, the Association in line with its mandate of promoting the interest and business of its members, engaged in several activities and initiatives including the industry’s response to COVID-19 pandemic.

The outbreak of Coronavirus pandemic which has become a global cause for concern, said Mr Smart, has posed a serious challenge to the Association and the entire Nigerian insurance industry.

Mr. Smart who is also the MD/CEO, NEM insurance, said the virus has not only disrupted businesses but also forced member companies to activate their business continuity strategies , adding that “we are happy that they have responded adequately to the challenges posed by the disease.”

NIA boss noted that remote working, deployment of technology, use of web conferencing technology for online meetings, maintenance of physical and social distancing in the work place and sale of insurance policies through online platforms have become part of the new normal created by COVID-19.

“As part of the industry contribution towards national response to the pandemic, the Association in collaboration with other arms of the industry provided life insurance cover for 5000 health workers and volunteers such as Doctors, Pharmacists, Nurses and other ancillary personnel in the frontline of the battle against COVID-19.

“The scale of benefits under the scheme are: Doctors – N3,000,000. Pharmacists and Nurses N2,000,000, Ancillary Personnel N1,000,000. Added to these, the Association also donated the sum of N500m (Five Hundred Million Naira) to the Federal Government as additional support in the fight against the pandemic.

“It is with a high sense of fulfillment that I report today, the Presidential recognition accorded the Industry by President Muhammadu Buhari during his Presidential Broadcast on Monday, 27th April 2020. This is the highest level of recognition by any government and as we savour in the feat so far achieved, let me also note that this is a call to duty and a challenge to do more.

“Riding on the momentum created, we need to upscale our engagements with government so as to build on the goodwill presented by the presidential recognition. Apart from the Association’s donation, individual member companies have also been supportive of the various interventions by Lagos State Government through provision of life insurance for health workersand donationofPersonalProtective Equipment (PPE) among others,” Mr. Smart added.

On recapitalization, he expressed confident that the Association’s continued engagements with the primary regulator, the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) and other intermediate regulatory commission such as the Nigeria StockExchange(NSE); Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) on the need to grant reliefs/ palliatives to members during the exercise.will have positive outcomes.