Why insurers unite to support governments’ effort against pandemic
It’s no news how the new coronavirus, (COVID-19) is ravaging many countries of the world, Nigeria inclusive. As there’s currently no vaccine to prevent the coronavirus disease, aggressive measures are being taken to control the spread of the disease and limit its impacts on all sectors of the economy.
In this regard, the Nigerian private sector, through the insurance industry coalition against COVID-19, has risen to support the Nigerian Government efforts in the fight to eradicate pandemic from Nigeria.
Among few insurance operators in the industry that supported the initiative of the government to mitigating the impacts of pandemic are: NSIA Insurance, Leadway Assurance Company Limited.
Before now, some of the operators had donated test kits materials others to driving the fight against the coronavirus are: AXA Mansard Insurance Plc, Linkage Assurance, Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc.
Speaking with The Guardian on the development in an interview at the weekend, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, NSIA Insurance Limited, Ebelechukwu Nwachukwu, said the firm joined the teeming private sector and individuals in the fight against the Coronavirus pandemic ravaging the world, by making financial contributions to the Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA) COVID-19 Support Fund.
Following the increasing spread and unfolding effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy, the Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA) set up “The Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA) COVID-19 Support Fund” to raise funds to combat the pandemic.
The association which seeks to contribute to legislation and decisions made by the government in the best interest of the economy, has also volunteered to acquire testing kits and protective gears to help further mitigate the spread of the virus.
Nwachukwu, urged the public to comply with local authorities and stay indoors while following the World Health Organisation’s guidelines for staying safe during this period.
“Our hearts go out to those families who have lost dear ones in the course of this pandemic and pray that they would have the strength to pull through the pain”, she said.
She added that, “staff members are currently working remotely, though offices are closed, which means that we are still very much available to do business. We have an array of life products that we encourage customers to take at this time. We also would want people to take householder insurance policies now since everyone is home and may need it for possible eventualities”.
Meanwhile, Leadway Assurance Company Limited at the weekend confirmed to The Guardian that it donated Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) materials, COVID-19 test kits and foodstuff to the tune of N135 million as part of its efforts to support optimal testing and treatment of Covid-19 cases as well as access to nutrition in the country during the quarantine period.
The insurer noted that it partnered other insurance companies to provide life insurance cover to the tune of N5 billion for all frontline healthcare workers battling to save the lives of those infected by the virus.
The company had, before this, made a sizeable donation as part of funds being raised by the NIA COVID-19 Support Fund to align with the company’s value of service and customer focus. The donations would aid the Government in combating the spread of the pandemic in the country.
Commenting on the company’s gesture, the Managing Director of Leadway Assurance, Tunde Hassan-Odukale, said “We understand the magnitude of the risk taken by health workers who have been supporting the government to take care of Nigerians in the wake of a pandemic that is ravaging worldwide.”
“We salute their tenacity, resilience and professionalism as they battle COVID-19, putting their lives on the line to ensure that Nigerians are adequately cared for during this period. We understand the weight of their duties and hope that this support reassures them and indeed all Nigerians, that we are in this together,” Hassan-Odukale said.
Odukale, explained that the firm was one of the first companies to initiate its WorkFromHome policy before the state pronouncement, ensuring seamless remote service via its several alternative channels while disseminating COVID-19 prevention tips in major languages within its areas of operations in addition to English, French and Pidgin, highlighting the NCDC’s COVID-19 helplines on radio and all its social media channels.
He urged Nigerians to adhere strictly to the precautionary measures prescribed by the World Health Organization, the Federal Government, the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the Lagos State Government to successfully curb the spread of the outbreak in the country.The firm will continue to work with the government and health agencies to support ongoing efforts to contain the pandemic.
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