Tope Smart takes over as new helmsman of NIA

Matthew Otoijagha

Insurance operators under the umbrella body of Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA) on Thursday elected Tope Smart as the new chairman of the association. The event which took place at the 40th annual general meeting of the association in Lagos brought to an end a productive tenure of the outgoing chairman, Eddie Efekoha as chairman.

Speaking at the meeting Efekoha said the industry was able to grow its volume of business by 15 percent to stand at N363billion in 2017. According to him, the business written by operators rose from N315.96billion in the previous year of 2016 to N363billion reported in the year under review.

Speaking on his achievements as chairman, Efekoha said the industry operators in collaboration with the regulator have embarked on various initiatives to deepen insurance penetration. The immediate past  chairman who also doubles as managing director of Consolidated Hallmark Insurance Plc. however listed insurance industry roadmap to include: financial inclusion; micro insurance, banc-assurance; insurance rebranding project, the association’s USSD initiatives; other strategic efforts amongst others as initiatives that will increase insurance uptake by the public.

He thanked the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) and other professional bodies for their collaboration and immeasurable support during the past two years as chairman.

In his acceptance speech, the newly sworn-in chairman promised to do everything humanly possible to lift the association forward. Mr. Smart noted that although the task is challenging, he assured that he will give it his best shot. He said his tenure is going to leverage on his experience as treasurer and support of past chairmen and members to take the association to the next level.

On collaboration he said: I ‘‘will collaborate with NAICOM, NCRIB, ILAN and other agencies to move our great association forward. Protection of members is paramount to me and my administration and I believe in this slogan: ‘NIA first’.

The association also elected the group managing director of Cornerstone Insurance Plc. Ganiyu Musa as its deputy chairman; while the MD/CEO of Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc. Segun Omosehin; MD/CEO of AIICO Insurance Plc. Edwin Igbiti and MD/CEO Capital Express Assurance, Bola Odukale were all elected into the Governing Council of the association.

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