Niger insurance Plc has recorded an operating profit of N593.81 million for the 2018 financial year; an improvement from a deficit of N978.93 million recorded in 2017.
This is even as the company has also assured all policyholders that it will settle their claims.
The Chairman of the company, Mr Stephen Dike disclosed this at the firm’s 49th Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Lagos recently, adding that the company recorded a Profit Before Tax (PBT) of N661.31 million in 2018 from a loss of N920.13 million in 2017 while its gross premium written in 2018, stood at N4.45 billion and a gross premium income of N5.22 billion respectively.
According to Dike, as part of efforts to address the issues of solvency, the board raised N2billion in 2019 and the money was deposited in an escrow account with First City Monument Bank (FCMB).
“In 2017 the board, as part of restructuring our company’s assets to enhance liquidity, approved the sale of some real estate properties.”
However, he stated that the sales of these properties worth N6.387 billion was not concluded within the past two years, they were reclassified. He added that he was optimistic that with renewed support of reputable agents the sales will be concluded very soon.
While soliciting shareholders support and collaboration, he acknowledged that the firm is facing a challenge, but with their backing he is sure that the company would arise stronger.
Commenting on the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) directive for insurance and reinsurance companies to recapitalise by June 2020, he disclosed that the company had engaged Chapel Hill Denham and Mainstream Bank Capital Limited as financial advisers, to assist it in developing a viable strategic blueprint for the successful recapitalisation of the company.
He noted that the firm was exploring an optimal mix of funding options, including right issues, private placement, merger and/or acquisition, as well as capital restructuring through stock merge or reverse share split to create headroom for recapitalisation.
“The Board is in discussion with potential investors who will not only bring in capital but also technical expertise. We are judiciously and diligently working to meet the capital required for our company to continue to operate as composite insurance company,” he said.
Also speaking, the Managing Director of firm, Edwin Igbiti, said the first order of business was for the executive management to develop a winning strategy that will deliver the company’s top goals and priorities.
Igbiti stated that management has designed a five-year strategy (2020-2024) transformation plan with three main priorities which includes; strengthen its balance sheet, straighten its people and strengthen its business model.
He added that the company is committed to settling all policyholders claims issues, noting that he joined the company because he believes it will not die, but live to meet the expectations of investors and other stakeholders. While stating that it is a new dawn at Niger Insurance, he also solicited supports from the shareholders in moving the company to greater heights.