BY NKECHI NAECHE-ESEZOBOR–Insurance business in Africa has been characterized by low penetration and poor contribution to most African countries financial growth.
These were the words of the Honourable Minister of Finance, Budget & National Planning, Dr. Mrs. Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, at the 2023 WAICA Education Conference with the theme:”Re-Positioning the Insurance Industry in West Africa for Competitiveness”, held today in Lagos.
The Minister who was represented by the Commissioner For Insurance, Mr. Sunday Thomas, noted that maintaining efficient, fair, safe and stable insurance market in the West African sub region must be promoted for the benefit of the policyholders and other stakeholders.
She said “As an optimist, we are encouraged to believe in a new dawn, leveraging technological innovations, and a positive paradigm shift focused and poised to meet the anticipated surge in the demand and untapped side. “
She however urge the delegates to deliberate and recommend ways of repositioning the insurance industry in West Africa for Global Competitiveness.
In his remarks the Chairman of Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA), Segun Omoshein, “Our commitment to excellence, innovation, and professionalism is reflected in the way we have prepared for this conference, and I am confident that it will be a resounding success.
Speaking on the theme of the conference, he said the theme “is both timely and relevant, adding that it underscores the need for us to embrace and drive growth and innovation of the insurance sector in our Region.”
Also Vice President of WAICA, Eddie Efekoha noted that the theme of the conference captures “our thoughts and expectations while the resource persons have been carefully selected to address the issue in a manner that presents all shades and perspectives.”
While assuring that the learnings taken from the conference will make delegates better managers that will reposition insurance institutions across the subregion and make the competitive globally.
In his welcome remark, Secretary General of WAICA, William Coker while speaking on the ways to improve the industry said: “We all know that with the advent of AfCFTA, companies are now becoming more trans-national in nature and character and the opening of boarders in West Africa is an inevitable fact. Thus the earlier we embrace this phenomenon and make it a reality the better for all of us. Companies can no longer operate only within their borders and be accomplished.
“To that end WAICA is working with WAISA and involving indigenous reinsurance companies within eventually be spread to benefit other underwriting outfits.”