Underwriting firm, NSIA Insurance, formerly known as ADIC, has rolled out drums, recounting business success, sustenance of vision, and how it has weathered the storm in a competitive insurance industry 25 years after.
Pascal Dozie, chairman of the board of directors during a thanksgiving service to celebrate the company’s 25 years anniversary, said a lot had happened since the company first opened for business on September 1, 1989, as African Development Insurance Company, or ADIC, as it was popularly known. It was acquired by Diamond Bank in 2006, following the recapitalisation of the industry by the Federal Government that raised the capital base for insurance companies to N5 billion.
In July 2011, Diamond Bank sold its 96.15 percent stake in the firm to NSIA Group, an Ivorian firm with footprints in 11 other African countries, as part of a strategy to divest itself from all non-banking subsidiaries. The company became known as NSIA Insurance.
“But the change in ownership had no negative impact on the business, as its customers continued to benefit from the expertise, personal service and range of products they have come to expect from ADIC,” he said.
Dozie, who is also the chairman of MTN Nigeria, attributed the success of the company to its adherence, over the years, to the core business values as initially set by its founder, Joseph Irukwu, a professor, who had a burning desire to set up a model insurance company that will be known for its integrity, prompt payment of claims and pursuance of best practices.
“Twenty-five years after, we still adhere to these values in our everyday relationship with our customers and business associates, and this is what sets us apart from our competitors,” he said, and thanked the company’s customers for their patronage and for standing by it over the past 25 years.
Speaking in the same vein, Irukwu, who is widely regarded as the ‘Mr. Insurance’ in Nigeria, said he felt fulfilled and elated at what the company had achieved so far, and noted that it had lived up to his original vision of making it a leader in the African insurance industry.
“I feel a sense of fulfillment. When I started the company 25 years ago, I wanted it to grow and become big, and that has happened. I called it African Development Insurance Company, and it has got to the level where it is truly African Development Insurance Company because it is involved in the development of the continent, and we share in the risks of the other countries in Africa, and we have a board that includes people from other African countries and the company is growing every day,” said Irukwu, who recently turned 80.
According to him, he sees a brighter future for NSIA Insurance, its customers and shareholders, and backed the company to play a more prominent role in the African insurance industry in the future, and also sees a great future for the insurance industry in Nigeria and Africa as the people become more aware of the benefits of insurance.
“Right now, only 10 percent to 15 percent of the persons who should be insured are insured, whereas in Europe and America, they have 90 percent to 95 percent. So, we still have a large space left. This means that in the next 25 years, the volume of business penetration, the volume of premium would have gone up by no less that 25 percent and we will have more funds to manage. So, I think the future will be very great for anyone who decides to invest in insurance,” he said.
Source : BusinessDay