from Edet Udoh, Lagos
Another historical landmark has been recorded as the long awaited N300 million Insurance industry rebranding project, aimed at educating the public, setting standard and inculcating the culture of insurance in the consciousness of all Nigerians, commenced.
The project which will last for three years will be executed in phases.
The Vice Chairman, Sub Committee, Publicity and Communications, Insurers Committee, Ebelechukwu Nwachukwu, who addressed journalists in Lagos at the weekend, said the objectives of the project are to educate the public on the need for them to embrace insurance; makes it a culture that every Nigerians need to adopt and to change public perception about insurance.
Nwachukwu, who is also the Managing Director, NSIA Insurance Company Limited, said ther objectives, include ensuring the public understands the values and benefits of insurance; propagating insurance as a key sector that drives the growth of the economy and showcasing the achievement so far made by the industry.
She said the first phase of the project will centre on among other things: profiling and showcasing the insurance Chief Executive Officers (CEOs); simplifying all insurance products to the understanding of all Nigerians as well as set market standard.
In his contribution, the Chairman, Sub Committee, Publicity and Communications of the Insurers Committee, Mr. Oye Hansan-Odukare, said insurance is key to any economy, adding that individuals need insurance as a risk mitigating mechanism.
He said: “a lot of people don’t know what insurance is all about,” adding that the rebranding project will expose the industry to the people and let them know that we have a well structured industry.
Mr. Odukare who decried the low penetration of insurance in Nigeria, said the industry and the economy will be better off if the level of insurance penetration in Nigeria is raised higher that what it is today.
He said claims payment is critical to the growth of the industry. “We must make sure that we meet our claims payment obligation. When a company fails to pay claim, the aftermath effect is not on the affected company, but on the industry as a whole because whenever they talk about claims, they will say insurance industry don’t pay claim”.
Also speaking at the event, the Director-General, Nigerian Insurance Association (NIA) who is also the member of the committee, Mrs. Yetunde Ilori, said the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), in partnership with insurance operators, had engaged a consultant to under-study the industry to identify areas of problems and come up with strategic plans on how to tackle those problems.
She said all identified areas of concern will be tackled in order to take the industry to lofty heights.
Meanwhile, to promote the project, NAICOM has contributed N40 while most companies have also made their contributions towards the initiative.
Earlier, insurance operators had agreed to raise 50 per cent of the funds for the rebranding project from companies’ gross premium income, and the balance 50 per cent, shared evenly amongst themselves.
The initiative, according to the committee, will be driven via social media, print and electronics, adding that greater attention will be on the social media due to the youth population.