Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State has tasked Anchor Insurance Company Limited to strive to become Nigeria’s topmost insurer by mobilizing available resources to achieve the feat.
He gave the challenge during the official commissioning of Anchor Insurance Ultra-Modern Office Complex in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State capital.
Gov. Emmanuel who described insurance business as the highest employer of labour in the country urged the management of the company to do everything possible to raise the bar in its profiteering and also give it a pride of place as the best insurance firm in the country.
He assured that the state government would give its maximum support for it to succeed and directed both the State Ministry of Finance and the office of the Secretary to the State Government to enforce the state government’s directive towards ensuring that all its insurance activities are handled by Anchor Insurance.
While congratulating the company for the edifice, he maintained that the state government would work to increase its shareholding capital by 80 per cent and called on the management to look at taking advantage of the state government owned assets in Lagos as a basis to increase its shareholding in the company.
Earlier, the Executive Chairman of the underwriting company, Dr. Elijah Akpan, said as the only surviving state government investment in the financial services sector of the Nigerian economy, the company is involved in general insurance business with registered office in Uyo, corporate office in Lagos and branches nation-wide with state government stake of 60.76 per cent equity capital after privatization in 2002.
He said the company has performed very well, ranking among the top 20 insurers in the country with enormous contribution towards the economic growth of the state through employment, income redistribution and corporate social responsibility by paying its dividends since 2010.
Dr. Akpan said the four floors ultra-modern office which completes with kitchenette, lift, water facility, standby generating set, large parking area and trained security personnel now adorning the landscape of Uyo metropolis, was conceived and designed to meet the demands for office accommodation by other corporate entities in the state.
He noted that the complex would be suitable for lease by banks, government agencies, multi-lateral organizations and private/businesses as an income stream for the company to strengthen its resolve to pay dividends to the state for its investment in the company.
The Chairman, while appreciating Gov. Emmanuel’s administration as the first to adopt Anchor Insurance as the preferred company by directing all ministries, agencies and departments to patronize the company’s products said, the management was working with the respective MDAs to give effect to the Executive Council’s directive on the matter.
He expressed delight to the state government for also considering the conversion of its real estate property in Lagos for equity investment in the company to enable it meet the recapitalization directive of the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), and pledged its unalloyed loyalty to the state government’s industrialization program, urging the organized private sector to take advantage of government endorsement to patronize the company.
Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the company, Ebose Augustine, in his goodwill message, thanked the governor in his development strides in the state saying that, his administration has been very beneficial to the company.
He promised that the company would take a cue from his historic landmark achievements, adding that the company had recently launched what he described as ‘‘Anchor Lion’’ in Abeokuta, Ogun State, the first of its kind in the country.