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WAICA seeks collaboration for stronger regional market

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insuranceElects Rotimi Fashola as president

Delegates to the West African Insurance Companies Association (WAICA) conference have called on the operators and regulators in the region to collaborate and build stronger regional market to face challenges of the modern economy.

Speakers at the conference held in Lagos said there was need for the association to cooperate with each other in the market to be able to face the challenges of new businesses, changing laws and regulation.

Nigeria’s Commissioner for Insurance, Mohammed Kari, in his welcome address pointed out that our sub-region like all regions of the world cannot operate or survive in isolation. From the operator’s level to regulators, we need to interrelate and cooperate with each other in order to overcome challenge of the modern economy.

He pointed out the role insurance plays in the development of our respective economies, in terms of services and infrastructural development; it provides financial and social stability, enhances trade and commerce, offer opportunities for savings which in turn enhances the well-being of the citizenry and the nation in general.

He said “though the future of the insurance sector is hard to predict, however, it can be prepared for. Insurers are faced with the challenges of new businesses, changing laws and regulation among others. Changes in regulation, according to him, is a by-product of the past financial crisis and the globalization of the world’s economy which have enmeshed nations of the world together irrespective of geographical boundaries”.

“Notwithstanding these challenges, there are enough potentials for positive growth of the insurance sectors in the West African states, given the collaborative efforts of the players, regulators and governments in the region. The potentials are not limited to some prospective demand for insurance products but for the operator’s collective efforts to address common issues that were hitherto seen as individual’s problems.

He urged the conference to create opportunities for operators and regulators alike, to compare and exchange notes on how each market is tackling their individual challenges, and how best to avoid others’ adverse experiences. “We invite the delegates from our sister countries to learn from their Nigerian colleagues how the market and regulator have come together to create a development front for tackling issues”

“The global insurance market is one and the same. It may only differ in magnitude but not in substance. While deliberating, we should remain conscious of other regions resolutions and ideas, Our overall desire is to have an industry that is knowledge driven and run in line with international best practice in our respective countries.”

The founding father of the association, Prof. Joe Irukwu, in his remarks said “we must acknowledge the positive roles played by the insurance commissioners in the development of WAICA over the years. These factors have helped in the growth and effectiveness of the association as a regional institution. In this context, we must commend the roles played by the insurance commissioners in promoting the WAICA unifying spirit in our sub-region.”

He said, “as we express our gratitude to all those who have contributed to the growth and development of WAICA, I will like to take this opportunity to appeal to all insurance professionals and companies and every one present at this conference to continue to support WAICA.”

Meanwhile, has elected the Managing Director and chief executive, Industrial and General Insurance Plc (IGI), Rotimi Fashola, as president of the association.

Fashola’s appointment was the highpoint of the association’s 38th yearly general meeting and education conference held in Lagos, which attracted delegates from the member countries in the sub-region. He succeeds Ivan Ayereyireh, a Ghanaian.

In his acceptance speech, the IGI boss thanked delegates for entrusting him with the leadership of the association and promised to pursue WAICA’s primary responsibility of protecting the interest of its members and growing the business of insurance in the sub-region.

Among dignitaries that attended the conference were a representative of the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, a founding father of WAICA, Prof. J O Irukwu, the Commissioner for Insurance, Alhaji Mohammed Kari, with his counterparts from other member countries, and eminent insurance practitioners from across the sub-region.



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