Mr. Tony Elumelu, chairman, Heirs Holding and founder, Tony Elumelu Foundation, has called for the recapitalisation of Nigeria’s brokerage industry, noting that N5 million is not enough capital for the industry.
Elumelu made the call in his keynote address during the 60th anniversary of the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB) in Lagos on Thursday.
Speaking at the event with the theme, ’60 Years of Insurance Broking: Redefining the Practice and the Practitioners,” Elumelu said insurance plays pivotal role in any society because it provides the much-needed safety and security.
According to him, through insurance, large volumes of fund are mobilised by way of premiums for investments, spurring the growth and development of the economy.
He said, “With insurance, families receive financial security, assets are protected against hazards, and businesses continue to run with the assurance of financial compensation in the event of a loss.
“In a nutshell, insurance keeps families and their possessions intact, provides financial safeguards for businesses, creates employment, and generally advances the economy.
“An economy is therefore as advanced as its insurance sector.
“More importantly, in an economy going through inflation and a widening poverty gap, insurance is more important now than ever.
“That is why we decided to introduce smart, simple insurance to the Nigerian market to better service this underserved market.”
The bank chairman who explored the way forward the country’s insurance industry, after listing the challenges, noted that in the modern business arena, the insurance broker community and, by extension, the entire Nigerian insurance industry, must embrace technology fully to remain relevant, while also calling for the recapitalisation of the sector
“The body also needs to work towards positioning its members properly for digital integration, mediating between the insuring public and the underwriters digitally,” he said.
“Embrace technology and digital adoption, current analogue processes need to be eliminated to improve service delivery to our customers
“The brokers industry cannot advance when the other financial services are transitioning to online real time and we are still stuck with a system that relies on hard copy files and documents
“The brokerage sector needs to drive clean data for the industry. This is not a one person job
“We need to recapitalise the brokerage industry in our country, N5 million is not enough capital base for an industry. A recommend a minimum of N50 million as a capital base. We need to adequately capitalise the brokerage sector.”
Speaking about his foundation, Elumelu noted that over 15,000 entrepreneurs have benefitted directly from the Tony Elumelu Foundation through the provision of a $5,000 non-refundable seed capital.
“You may know me more for my banking career as the Chairman of the United Bank for Africa (UBA) Africa’s global bank present in 20 African countries including France, USA, UK, and the UAE,” he said.
“And the catalytic work we do at the Tony Elumelu Foundation in empowering young Africans across the 54 countries on the continent
“So far, over 15,000 young African entrepreneurs have benefitted directly from the Foundation through the provision of a $5,000 non-refundable seed capital, alongside business training, mentorship, and market access to these young African entrepreneurs.
“At the Heirs Holdings Group we are committed to improving lives and transforming the continent
“This is why last year we entered the insurance sector with the introduction of Heirs Life Assurance and Heirs Insurance Limited
“Insurance companies committed to providing simpler and smarter insurance to the market
“These 2 companies complement Heirs Insurance Brokers (HIB), our insurance brokerage business and these 3 companies allow us to exploit synergies and efficiently service the Nigerian insurance market.”