NCRIB, NAICOM canvass greater collaboration in harnessing Insurtech opportunities

By EDU ABADE, Business Editor

Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB) and the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) have canvassed greater collaboration in harnessing opportunities of conducting the underwriting and broking businesses through the use of technology.

This was the focus of the 2022 Mid-Year Workshop organised by the Lagos Area Committee (LAC) of NCRIB with the theme: Opportunities and Challenges of Insurtech and sub-theme: Automation of Returns, Filing and Licence Renewal Application on National Portal, which held at the council’s corporate headquarters in Yaba, Lagos.

In his opening remarks, President and Chairman, Governing Board of NCRIB, Barrister Rotimi Edu, who lamented the low penetration of insurance in the country, urged participants to leverage opportunities presented by Insurtech to harness not only the accounts of big government corporations like the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), but also other large, medium and small-scale industries that abound in the country’s business space.

Chief Executive Officer of Flutterwave, who was Guest Speaker at the workshop, Gbenga Agboola, highlighted the several opportunities in the brokerage and underwriting business, stressing the need for greater synergy between core insurance practitioners and registered brokers. Agboola, who further stressed the need for building a technology-dependent insurance sector, canvassed the deployment of a domain presence for successful execution of Insurtech businesses among brokers and underwriters.

He said over 80 per cent of travels in Nigeria were businessdriven, maintaining that chief executives who travel by air across the country do so for one business negotiation or the other and that opportunities abound in all the sectors of the Nigerian economy, including oil and gas, aviation, banking and finance, maritime, transportation, fire and telecommunications, among several others. On his part, Deputy Director, Information Technology at NAICOM, Aribike Abiodun Ladipo, who spoke on the sub-theme:

Automation of Returns, Filing and Licence Renewal Application on NAICOM’s Portal, told the brokers and all participants at the workshop that the insurance sector regulator has automated all licence renewal application processes on its portal.

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Ladipo, who took the brokers through a practical demonstration of the application process, explained that brokers no longer needed to go through the manual application process as it had been phased out, adding that they could now apply for all their requirements to NAICOM from the comfort and confines of their offices.

Earlier in his welcome address, Chairman, Lagos Committee of NCRIB, Rotimi Olukorede, said: “Recently, the National Insurance Commission opened its portal to all brokers. We have started using it, but there are still challenges. Therefore, the executive decided to bring the deputy Director, Aribike Abiodun Ladipo to explain, train and do justice to the issue. Our desire is that no member of the LAC should have problems with NAICOM on this issue.

“It is hard to imagine modern businesses producing a much output as they do today without the help of technology and its innovations. As a matter of fact, technology has improved business operations and overall productivity in several ways. Faster penetration, speed of response to customers, better communication, better customer service and others have been achieved in this age of technological revolution.

Technology on its own cannot make business productive, but the right technology must be deployed in the right way for maximum productivity.” He pointed out that insurance practitioners have been desirous of a magic wand that would drastically improve penetration and cause a turnaround in the sector, stressing that insurance penetration was still very low, but 50 per cent penetration would do the sector a great deal of good.

Olukorede further explained that Insurtech refers technological innovations created and implemented to improve efficiency in insurance businesses, adding: “It is revolutionsing insurance globally by providing customers with seamless and error-free ways of doing the business. Insurtech is a technology capable of disrupting our industry and bring about unprecedented improvements in the fortunes of brokers.”

Citing Henry Ford, who once said: “If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself,” he stressed the need for brokers to work together in unity towards a common vision, as team collaboration, productivity and greater achievements are inseparable.

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