Financial experts have urged insurance firms to deploy robust Information Communication Technology (ICT) for an enhanced service delivery to customers across the country.
The call came at the 2nd Annual Lecture and Awards of Business Journal Magazine with the theme ‘Digital Nigeria: The Path to Sustainable Economic Growth,’ held in Lagos recently. Those who made the call stated that strong ICT infrastructures will further aid insurance companies to be more efficient in claims management and settlements.
Speaking at the event, the Chairman, Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA), who also is the Managing Director/CEO, NEM Insurance Plc, Tope Smart, noted that the digitalisation of Nigeria in all sectors of the economy such as the insurance, banking, environment, governance, agriculture would help the country experience stronger economic growth.
Smart added that for Nigeria to progress as a nation, the digitilisation of the country should embody part of the national strategy as Nigeria cannot afford to be left behind in a digital world that is presently experiencing numerous disruptions of other services.
“The impact of ICT is huge and it has altered everything including; the way we live, the way we run our businesses, the way we work even the way we govern. Other benefits include its capacity to ensure transparency by eliminating black market economy because when you are connected online, you can see what people are doing. It helps people to pursue their entrepreneurial objectives because it brings out ingenuity in people. It creates jobs that provide means of livelihood for the citizenry,” he said.
For her part, the Executive Director, Leadway Assurance Company Limited, Ms. Tola Adegbayi, stated that insurers have significant roles to play in a digitalised economy because their companies are expected to insure some of the risks that come with the ongoing digital disruption.
Adegbayi noted that, although underwriters might not have excelled in digital adoption unlike in the banking sector, they are already utilising best technology to market their products and services likewise the management of claims hence, with time insurers will improve tremendously in the application.
While noting cyber crime as one of the challenges connected to digitalisation, she said that the insurance sector is working assiduously to provide solutions to address the menace so that, policyholders who want to take risks in that area can comfortable do so without fears.
She said, “When you talk about digitalisation, how do we come in as insurers? We need every development but nobody really talks about the negative side of it as well. As we develop, crime advances. When crime advances, it challenges development because crime is a necessary part of the society. It does not stop. It will not stop. As insurers, we stand in the very beginning and the end of it all to provide security”
Delivering the keynote address earlier, the Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Umar Danbatta, who was represented by the Director, Public Affairs, Henry Nkemadu, reiterated the Commission’s commitment towards the provision of enabling environment to support public-private investments in the telecommunication sector so as to boost sustainable economic growth.
According to the Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief of Business Journal, Prince Cookey, the Business Journal Annual Lecture Series is a platform which convenes stakeholders across sectors of the economy to examine and deliberate on evolving issues in the country’s economy in order to produce workable solutions to advance the economy.