The Association of Registered Insurance Agents of Nigeria (ARIAN) says the insurance agency network in Nigeria can provide employment opportunities for no fewer than 500,000 graduates yearly
Mr Kazeem Odewunmi, the President of ARIAN, made the assertion at the 2022 National Conference, Annual General Meeting, Election and induction of the new Executive Officers of ARIAN in Lagos.
It had as its theme: “Insurance Penetration : A Determinant To Economic Growth , Agency As A Catalyst’’.
“The insurance industry has attracted more foreign direct investment into the country more than any other sector.
“Nigeria’s population stands at more than 200 million and 60 per cent of these are below 65 years, with over 105 million working class.
“Obviously, Nigeria has massive potential for insurance business growth and no wonder several foreign insurance companies are making inroad to Nigeria to harness the potential,’’ he said.
According to Odewunmi, insurance agents can help to mop up investable funds for national development.
Odewunmi noted that the theme of the conference was symbolic and strategic, in view of the massive transformation going on in the insurance industry.
The ARIAN president expressed concern that insurance companies in Nigeria had not been able to leverage the massive market available for it because of low investment in technology.
He said: “As an association, our strategic objective is to drive insurance penetration in accordance with National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), Market Development And Restructuring Initiative (MDRI).
“We will empower our members through marketing automation because we believe we need technology to access more clients and penetrate the market,’’ Odewunmi said.
In his address, the Commissioner for Insurance / Chief Executive Officer, NAICOM, Mr Sunday Thomas, identified insurance agents as very critical components to grow the industry because of their large numbers and accessibility to the masses .
Thomas, represented by Mrs Vera Aimufua, Principal Manager, Licensing and Regulation Intermediaries Department, NAICOM, said that to achieve the mandate, agents must see themselves as ambassadors of the insurance companies that they represent.
“Insurance agents, as the first contact of an insurance firm, must acquire skills and regularly develop themselves to be able to sell insurance products well as designed.
“One of the factors hindering penetration is the misselling of insurance products and the only way of not misselling a product, is to understand the product.
“Agents are expected to be versatile and make use of the opportunities presented to them,” he said. (NAN)