The need for Nigerian government to ensure a strong and viable institution that will reduce uncertainty in the business environment and ways insurance companies can help to expand businesses in the country received much emphasise at the recent 20th anniversary lecture organised by the Mutual Benefit Assurance Plc .
Business operators, who spoke at the lecture, which held in Lagos, reviewed insurance regulations, processes, and values and their impact on insurance penetration among Nigerians as well as the trend of growth of the Nigerian economy in general.
Coordinating discussions at the lecture, which theme centered on “Deepening Nigerian Economic Progress Through Risk Management,” Prof. Pat Utomi, a director in the company spoke on ways insurance can impact lives not only in Nigeria but across the West African sub-region.
Discussants at the lecture also spoke on how insurers can expand current low penetration by harnessing the potential of the retail markets through strategic targeting of the middle class.
In his submission, Group Managing Director of Mutual Benefits Mr. Akin Ogunbiyi encouraged Nigerians to buy insurance, noting that with a little premium, insurance gives confidence that guarantees personal well-being and comfort as well as investments that engender the much desired development and growth.
Ogunbiyi, said for instance, several years ago, the textile industry in the United States of America suffered a severe setback because of frequent fire outbreaks in textile mills.
He said the insurance industry in the US with its ingenuity intervened with tailor-made risk management services and insurance policies adding that with that, a dramatic growth ensued.
He urged Nigerian insurance managers to ensure deeper insurance penetration by providing the right product and services that meet the needs of the people.
He said Mutual Benefit has before now realised this need and has been pursuing the solution with vigor.
According to him, in May, this year in Tunisia, Mutual Benefits achieved a first in the history of insurance in Nigeria by being adjudged the most innovative insurance company in Africa, in a keenly contested award ceremony sponsored by African Reinsurance Corporation (Africa Re).
Ogunbiyi said, “We in Mutual Benefits have demystified the myth that this potentially huge business of spreading risks in order to promote substantial investments in the productive sector, cannot thrive in the informal sector even better than it is doing in the formal sector.
Mutual’s entrepreneurial initiative of growing the insurance business has made us a leader in Nigeria as well as the entire African continent, all thanks to my colleagues in the Mutual family; hardworking and dedicated crew members.