Insurance regulators, operators chart course for ESG compliance
Professionals in the insurance industry have advised stakeholders in the industry to promote sustainable insurance in the country. The professionals, who gathered at the maiden edition of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria’s (CIIN)’s Insurance Industry parley in Lagos, stressed that providing the proper tools and approaches to managing the global sustainable relatable risks which are environmental, social and governance (ESG) is crucial.
The event, which was themed ‘Sustainable Insurance-Issues and Trends’, drew stakeholders of the different segments of the insurance industry – regulators, insurers, brokers and loss adjusters – who gathered to chart issues and trends on sustainable insurance.
Speaking from the regulator’s perspective, the Head of Information Technology Department, the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), Abiodun Aribike, said that NAICOM uses IT to drive sustainable insurance in Nigeria.
Aribike stated that the commission, in partnership with the Financial Sector Deepening Africa (FSD) Africa, recently launched Risk, Resilience and Regulatory Laboratory (R3Lab) in Lagos to support the growth of the industry. He added that the initiative was aimed at mitigating the impact of specific challenges bedevilling the insurance regulatory environment in Nigeria as well as exploring a way forward.
“The R3Lab offers a three-tiered approach towards building the technical capacity and skills of the regulator on innovation and sustainable insurance,” he said.
Also speaking, the Head, Retail Solutions, AXA Mansard Insurance, Rashidat Adebisi, stressed the need for operators to start working on sustainability for the future by shifting their focus from investing in oil to gas, as the latter is more sustainable.
“The world is currently shifting away from oil. We need to start investing in gas, which is more sustainable and greener. We need to act on sustainable goals as this helps to save the environment. I urge everyone here to start and lead the sustainable goal conversations in their various companies because sustainability is key,” she expressed.
Speaking from the broker’s perspective, a representative from the Hogg Robinson Nigeria Limited, Saheed Egbeyemi, said opportunities abound for the sector to tap into and flourish but that the issues of rate cutting and unhealthy competition had to be addressed. He added that underwriters and brokers need to collaborate more to push the tenets of sustainable insurance.
The former President of the Institute of Loss Adjusters of Nigeria (ILAN), Ralph Opara, said ILAN was doing a lot to enhance sustainability because the arm remains the life wire of the insurance value chain.
On her part, the Rector, College of Insurance and Financial Management (CIFM), Dr. Yeside Oyetayo, said ESG risks are now criteria for determining a sustainable company, hence training and programmes on sustainable risks need to be factored into the insurance industry-academic curriculum.
Concluding the panel session, the Managing Director and the Chairman of the occasion, Olusegun Omosehin, emphasised that collaborations and innovation are the way to go for the industry as regards sustainability.
“Opportunities are before us as underwriters so we need to transition into green insurance so we can sustain businesses and the future of insurance in Nigeria,” he said.
The President of CIIN, Dr. Muftau Oyegunle, said: “The objective of this programme among other things, is to bring all stakeholders from the different arms of the insurance industry together, to discuss the business environment and how it affects the operations of the sector as well as charting the way forward for insurance to thrive in the country.
“The theme of this maiden edition is indeed very apt and strategic considering the era we are in. With this theme, we assure you the engagement and interactions of all stakeholders here present will be in an enlightening and forward-looking approach.