By Adedapo Adesanya
Niger Insurance Plc has said that it has paid over N1.4 billion claims to its customers in the first nine months of this year. Managing Director of the company, Mr Edwin Igbiti, made this known at press conference in Lagos last week.
Mr Igbiti, during the event, stated that other outstanding claims would be paid soonest, expressing appreciation to the firm’s customers for their patience, trust and understanding during this challenging period. He reaffirmed the company’s renewed sense of responsibility and commitment to excellence.
The Niger Insurance chief said he shares the company’s growth and transformation plan, which was designed to reposition the firm for service excellence and competitiveness in a rapidly changing operating landscape.
According to him, the company’s five years transformation blueprint (2020 to 2024) will focus on operational and technological advancements in delivering bespoke Insurance solutions to businesses, institutions and the growing populace of Nigeria.
He noted that the implementation of the transformation plan already began in the fourth quarter of 2019 following his appointment as managing director of the firm.
According to Mr Igbiti, the firm’s three pillars of the transformation plan are: Strengthening its balance sheet (financial strength); strengthening its People (Talent & Innovation) and strengthening its business model (Sustained growth & Profitability).
To ensure a successful execution of this plan, he said the company recently reconstituted a new Board-of-Directors, a new management team and an array of strategic partnerships.
He said that at the firm’s 49th Annual General Meeting (AGM), which held on November 21, 2019, the company’s shareholders approved its recapitalization plan to meet the new regulatory capital requirements through, an equity capital raise via rights issue and/or private placement and a business combination by way of merger or acquisition, which must all be completed by 30 June, 2020.
On his part, Mr Ademola Salami, the company’s new Chief Financial Officer (CFO) while providing a progress update said “Working with our Financial Advisers, the Board and Management of the company are already engaging with foreign and local investors that have shown interest in the company. High-level negotiations are on-going and we expect to secure substantive offers for investment in the coming weeks.”
In response to the situation regarding unpaid claims and outstanding customer benefits, the Managing Director expressed regret and attributed the delay to the company’s large asset portfolio which is skewed towards fixed assets.
He, however, assured the audience that the company’s assets are more than sufficient to settle all its liabilities and that it has made significant progress towards liquidating some fixed assets to unlock cash and pay down all outstanding obligations soon.
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