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Insurers must see opportunities in the threat posse by digital era — Efekoha

Insurers must see opportunities in the threat posse by digital era -- Efekoha

Insurance practitioners who gathered in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital recently for the 28th edition of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN) annual insurance professionals forum have resolved to leverage the opportunities presented by the digital revolution to deepen the insurance market’s penetration beyond its present level of 0.3 per cent.

The insurance professionals have reasoned that much as the issue of capital is important for the growth of insurance companies, there is the urgent need to device other critical ways of precipitating market development in a manner that companies would have enough businesses to deploy their capitals on.

President of the CIIN Mr. Eddie Efekoha who opened discussions at the Abeokuta meeting had noted the implications of the digital era in the fortunes of the insurance industry in Nigeria.

Continuing, Mr. Efekoha who doubles as the Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Consolidated Hallmark Insurance Plc noted that “the 2019 Insurance Professionals’ forum is a special one. This year the Institute celebrates 60 years of its existence as a platform for the development of manpower for the insurance industry. During the month of August, we held a weeklong celebration that was capped off with a glamorous Gala Night. I want to thank you all for your support and participation in the various events. and also to NAICOM, NIA, NCRIB and ILAN for their support.

“The last time I attended a formal event of the Institute with Mr O S Thomas, he was the Deputy commissioner Technical. Today, he is the acting commissioner for insurance, Nigeria. As I welcome him to this year’s Insurance Professionals Forum, may I alsoon behalf of the Institute and its entire membership congratulateyou, our dear friend, brother, a distinguished professional anda passionate manager of resources, on this appointment and to wish you God’s guidance in your discharge of the duties of this office. Yesterday, you joined my delegation to pay courtesy call on Kabiyesi, HRM theAlake and Paramount Ruler of Egbaland. One of the highlights of that visit was the royal prayer that may your acting capacity be confirmed soonest and we all chorused AMEN.

As one who has been part and parcel of the Commission and industry for years the challenges we face cannot therefore be strange to you. It is a shame that Africa’s biggest economy has a insurance penetration rate of about 0.3%. Much as the ongoing recapitalization is important, of equal importance is the need for market development.

I would like to acknowledge and appreciate in a special way, our hosts, the people of Ogun state under the leadership of the Governor, Prince, Dr. Dapo Abiodun, MFR. It is equally of utmost importance as visitors to this historic city, that we respect tradition and pay homage to his Royal Majesty, Oba AdedotunAremu Gbadebo III, The Alake of Egbaland.May your reign continue to bring peace and prosperity among your people. Thank you for hosting us so warmly yesterday.

This year’s theme “The Digital Era: Implications for insurance Professionals brings to our doorsteps, a topic that will define the Insurance industry of today and the future.

The Digital era is here and Artificial Intelligence is playing a major role in its evolution. More organisations are embracing the idea of a single microchip processing multiple functions. Indeed, the future which Artificial Intelligence promises for insurance is a series of touchless processes from premium collection through to the entire claims process.

Big data is all around us, ready to be harnessed and put to use. As an industry, how are we leveraging on technology to simplify data analytics in order to: make pricing of insurable risks more accurate, enhance self-servicing of customers through interactive websites, tweak sales practices in line with customer needs and wants in order to improve profitability, cost efficiency and maximize overall performance?

Importantly, Artificial Intelligence has never been less expensive or inaccessible. The question that arises however is: what is the role of the modern day insurance professional as this evolution plays out and what will be his when this evolution attains its full cycle? How will he/she stay relevant in an artificial intelligence driven society?As you ponder on these questions, let me restate that any professional who wants to remain relevant must see the opportunities in the threats posed by this digital era.

As we embrace digital we should not overlook the dangers posed by cybercrime around us. Cybercrime isn’t a myth, it is real. The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA)stated that in 2017, Nigeria lost $500million dollars to cyber-attacks, a figure up by $50 million from the year before. Globally, these numbers are even bigger and it is projected that damage related to cyber-crime will hit $6trillion annually by 2021. This Trojan horse is a big threat to professionals. As managers of businesses, we must keep abreast of the dangers its poses to businesses. Except we control this threat, we may have no relevance in the nearest future; that is if we still have businesses to run.

The relevance of the younger generation in this era of artificial intelligence has been brought to the fore by the Institute. Making its debut in this forum, is a conversation strictly for the next generation. They will be talking about the expectations and roles of the youth as leaders of tomorrow in the insurance industry.

To round up the highlights of this forum, we will bring into focus, the importance of wellbeing in the workplace. Charles Colton’s quote “Take care of your body, it is the only place you have to live” is a point of reflection as to what this session will offer.

Ladies and gentlemen, even more stimulating are the connoisseurs that have been assembled to do justice to the topics.There will be thoroughly enlightening sessions for everyone present and ultimately it will be an extraordinary experience for everyone involved”, he concluded.

For a better society

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