|Niger Insurance targets N20bn premiums, reviews internal capacity, Wednesday, 04 Apr 2012|
(BusinessDay) Underwriting firm, Niger Insurance Plc, plans to achieve a premium income target of N20 billion during the current year 2012 after having reviewed the internal capacities of the company and the opportunities in the economy. The company's Managing Director, Justus Uranta, who disclosed this during the annual management conference of the insurance company in Lagos recently, stated that the organisation possesses both human and material resources to achieve and surpass this premium income target. The theme of the conference was "Niger Insurance Plc at 50: Repositioning for the Next Phase of Performances". He therefore enjoined all members of staff to put in more effort to ensure that the 50-year-old insurance firm occupies its rightful position in the nation's insurance industry. Determined to tap into the market potentials facilitated by the country's huge population of more than 150 million people, he said, Niger Insurance introduced the agency and life department ten years ago, which is becoming a success story. He, however, pointed out that the company's retail agency business has not been successful as expected in spite of the firm's large branch business.
"Our aspirations are in line with the Market Development and Restructuring Initiative (MDRI) of the National insurance Commission (NAICOM) which emphasises compulsory insurance. This makes retail business a goldmine, which companies with well spread branch network like ours should dominate," Uranta said. The Niger Insurance boss assured that having always complied strictly with the rules of the business, the company is poised to ensure that it is not found wanting in this regard. This is taking into consideration the fact that the legal environment of the business is fast changing with several regulations coming into force from the financial sector regulatory bodies such as NAICOM, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), etc, which all companies are expected to comply with fully and timely. Uranta emphasised that corporate governance has become a global issue because of its effect on operations of firms as it focuses on adherence to acceptable ethical standards and best practices for the benefits of all stakeholders.
In order to address the delay sometimes witnessed by the company's clients in claims administration and settlement, he informed, the executive management has approved the opening of a dedicated account solely for claims and commission payment as a permanent solution to the problem. He added that the company's decision to open a special account for payment of claims and commission is premised on its belief that settlement of outstanding claims and commission is the best marketing strategy for business generation, noting that "in furtherance of this goal, the marketing, technical, and accounts departments have been instructed to collate all outstanding claims to expedite immediate settlement accordingly". In appreciation of the fact that automated processing is a sine qua non for maximum efficiency and competitiveness of a modern company, he further disclosed that Niger Insurance, as part of its ongoing re-engineering exercise, recently acquired a new software programme called Turnquest to create an enabling platform for improved service delivery.
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