BY NKECHI NAECHE-ESEZOBOR Niger Insurance Plc, one of the oldest insurance Company in Nigeria, on Wednesday said it paid a total of N1.7billion as claims and benefits to its policyholders at the end of the financial year ended 31, Dec, 2019 when compared to N1.6 billion paid in 2018.
Speaking at its 50th Annual General Meeting held today virtually, the chairman of the company, Stephen Dike said
in response to the company’s liquidity challenges which delayed the settlement of outstanding claims, the company has been aggressive in its efforts to unlock capital through restructuring of its investment portfolio while divesting from under-performing asset classes.
Also, the managing director, Edwin Igbiti noted that the company strategic commitment, strong leadership and improved corporate governance protocols will serve us well and enable the company to effectively meet these emergent challenges.
On stakeholders engagement, he said:”We have continuously engaged our customers and partners via a combination of direct correspondences, one-on-one meetings and in consortiums through customer fora where payment notices and progress updates are provided.
“These fora and platforms have also been effective for collecting and addressing customer concerns and enquiries. Similarly, we have convened a series of press conferences and media parleys where status, management initiatives and key milestones are disseminated.”
Speaking further on the company’s plans Igbiti said with the approval of shareholders, a number of the company’s real estate and investment property valued at N15billion have been put on sale in order to improve liquidity/ cashflows, ensure reserve adequacy and improve solvency margins.
“We are encouraged by the progress made so far, and confident that both are capital restructuring and recapitalization efforts will be successful in line with NAICOM’s regulatory timelines.
On operating model changes, the Niger Insurance boss said to actualize these goals and objectives, the company is investing in data analytics and technology to differentiate our offerings, drive sales, improve service standards and operating efficiency. We have upgraded our information systems (including our core insurance application) and deployed digital platforms and technology solutions to all our office locations across the country.
Furthermore, “we have reviewed our locations strategy to align with target markets/segments as well as optimize costs. Also, we are redesigning and simplifying our offerings to allow flexible pricing and varying customer preferences. I have no illusions that there is still a lot of work ahead and trust that we can count on the continued support of our esteemed shareholders and other stakeholder groups over the long- term.”