Nigeria’s compulsory housing insurance policy if properly enforced can generate over N1trillion, and a call on the National insurance Commission (NAICOM), to take decisive steps to bridge the gap immediately.
This was the submission of the Managing Director, Sunu Assurances Nigeria Plc, Samuel Ogbodu, who spoke to The Guardian in an interview yesterday.
He said a look at some estates in Lekki, Ikoyi, Victoria Island, and Mangodo phases 1&2 alone, shows that securing policies for them would amount to over N500billion, and when you consider houses across the country, it will be over N1trillion.
Ogbodu, also threw his weight behind the new recapitalisation exercise in the industry, saying the new capital regime, when concluded, would enhance the capacity of underwriting firms to retain big businesses.
Speaking at the industry quarterly Forum, tagged: “Deepening insurance penetration through effective broker engagement,” in Lagos, over the weekend, he said: “the step would not only help to consolidate the sector with provision of more buoyant opportunities for large ticket transactions, but also position insurance companies in the sector as big players, instead of serving as agents to foreign insurance underwriters.”
According to him, brokers would have more creative roles to play towards harnessing the benefits of the new capital base requirement, adding that the insurance sector if well-positioned would take its rightful place in Nigeria’s economy.
Ogbodu said various efforts aimed at boosting the insurance sector’s contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), to surpass its present 0.1 percent level would be accelerated with the implementation of the new capital base.
He stressed the role of brokers, saying: “Without the brokers, there won’t be insurance. They contribute about 80 percent of the earnings. We place a very high premium on brokers.”
Ogbodu assured stakeholders that “Sunu is positioned to take up the new challenges, having been rightly placed to meet with the new capital requirement of N10 billion, even as the framework for the new policy was yet to be released.”
The Executive Director, Strategy and Performance, Karim Dione, said Sunu’s fully paid-up capital currently stands at N7billion against the N10billion required for general insurance, adding that it would fully comply with the commission’s policy but needed more clarification from NAICOM on its shareholder’s funds or paid-up capital.
Ladi Oyekan of YOA Insurance Brokers, while responding to some issues raised, said an ideal insurance penetration has not been attained because of the low disposable income of the people.
Femi Ojeremi from Farble Insurance Brokers, decried that “Nigerians are wasteful in things that are irrelevant, many people have multiple phones and recharge them with an average of N60,000 annually, but they cannot pay N5,000 insurance premium annually to protect or cover their lives.”