By Zainab Iwayemi
With strategies hinged on simplicity, accessibility and affordability, and directed at excellent and superior service delivery as well as digitally-driven insurance that is customer-centric, Heirs Holdings, licensed by the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) last year to operate as an insurance underwriter, has launched its general (Heirs Insurance) and life insurance (Heirs Life Assurance) arms. The official event coincided with the commissioning of the company’s new building in Lagos.
Entrepreneur and banker, Tony Elumelu, the chairman, Heirs Holdings, expressed his appreciation of the present NAICOM leadership for its role in ensuring that the insurance arm of the holding company got licensed, assuring that the development would go a long way in creating opportunities for Nigerians.
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“The journey that started seven years ago has finally come full circle. And I want to thank NAICOM for that. It is good when our policymakers, regulators and private sector leaders begin to understand that for us to create employment that our people need and eradicate poverty, all parts must work together.
“The license we have looked for over years, you came and did it for us and four other companies. You have helped to create more job employment in this country and add to our tax revenue in this country and add further to overall economic activities,” Elumelu said.
Lamenting on the huge GDP and population size that is underutilized, Elumelu spoke on the need to work with regulator, finance minister and others to ensure that insurance to GDP ratio get better whilst also assuring that leveraging on Heirs track record, the insurance group would deliver to the public as expected.
“We come with a strong tradition, a strong track record not just of governance but of business success and business turnaround and most importantly, wealth creation for all. We believe that prosperity should be democratized. We believe that success for us would not just be about the profit we make for shareholders. It will be the impact we create and how we help to develop the community and create jobs for the people, our own role in helping to eradicate poverty and how we define success. These are things we are used to in all our corporate life. We have always taken businesses to the next level. “I assure the Nigerian public that we will work with NAICOM and our fellow in the insurance sector and the larger Nigerian private sector to make sure that we change the insurance landscape in Nigeria,” Elumelu assured.
Babajide Sanwo-Olu, governor of Lagos State, on his part, pledged support for the private sector as he regarded the private sector as the engine of business and GDP growth. According to him, the previous year had been tough owing to the pandemic, hence the need to encourage businesses and start-ups.
Sunday Thomas, the commissioner for insurance commended Elumelu for his resilience, doggedness, and the determination to add value and to join the rest in building an insurance sector that will lift other sectors of the economy.
“The timing could not have been more auspicious in view of the fact that NAICOM has been rolling out various developmental initiatives aimed at deepening insurance penetration in the country. With the level of capitalization of this company (Heirs Holding) I have no doubt that the Nigerian insurance market is poised to ride big-ticket risk,” Thomas said.
Frontpage August 23, 2019