The Founder and Chairman, Zenith Group, Dr. Jim Ovia, has urged operators in Nigeria’s insurance industry to enhance their growth with technology.
The chairman, who was represented by the Managing Director, Kehinde Borisade, Zenith Insurance Company Limited, spoke at the NCRIB’s 60th anniversary with the theme, ‘Leveraging Technology for Financial Inclusion’ in Lagos recently.
He said the theme was relevant to the recent happenings in the industry and the world’s business environment.
Ovia said, “Take for example, our nearest cousins in the financial services industry, the banking sector, has demonstrated and shown the importance and result of technology in financial inclusion, with the use of ATM in the banking space, which has transformed banking and has also enhanced financial inclusion; the use of BVN as a key identifier in the area of KYC, and the collaboration which allows transactions to be seamless among customers of different banks.
“The use of mobile wallet for cash payment and online banking all have transformed and helped to enhance financial inclusion in our society. Some of our banks have grown so big that they are global players. Imagine how they have grown in value; their shareholders’ funds and capital base over the years.
“For example, it is a known fact that the turn-over, capital base and profit of Zenith Bank Plc are larger than that of the insurance industry put together. Our industry has been in existence way before Zenith Bank Plc was established.”
He said successful transformation and inclusion could also be seen in logistics and transportation industry, while firms such as Uber and Bolt had eased transportation system across demographic and geographical locations in Nigeria.
He said, “Insurance is not left behind, as some companies have created USSD platforms to purchase insurance products, online claims processing etc., and have also invested in new core applications to streamline business processes.
“Our regulator (NAICOM) has assumed some responsibilities of supporting financial inclusion within the insurance industry.”
In all, it is obvious that our efforts in technological and financial inclusion are not robust and sophisticated enough in the insurance industry when compared to the banking industry or other industries as mentioned earlier.”