Insurance Brokers Review Budget, New Finance Act
Insurance brokers under the aegis of the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB), Lagos Area Committee, LAC, Thursday, met at the February edition of the NCRIB-LAC general meeting to discuss pertinent issues as it relates to the insurance business at the Insurance Brokers’ House at Yaba, Lagos.
The event which was themed ‘the 2020 FGN Budget and the Newly Signed Finance Act: Opportunities & Implications for Insurance Brokers,” had Kenneth Erikume, Partner, PWC Nigeria as the guest speaker for the occasion. In his address, he said the main objective of the 2019 Finance Act is to raise revenues for government by various fiscal measures. He mentioned that other objectives of the act are to promote fiscal equity; reform domestic laws, infrastructure and capital markets and support SMEs.
He added that the act was coming in at a time when external reserves in Nigeria has dropped to a near 2-year period low, implying a drop in external buffers. Erikume further stressed that one of the critical challenges facing the tax system in Nigeria is high level of non-compliance as a result of low tax morale.
“Tax Morale is the willingness to comply with taxes and the belief that tax evasion is wrong. Factors that influence tax morale include knowledge and complexity, fiscal exchange, social contract, social and individual norms, legitimacy, trust and fairness amongst others,” he said.
Earlier in her welcome address, Mrs Bukola Ifemade the Lagos Area Committee Chairman of the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers had said the event was holding at the beginning of the year to enable brokers plan for the year. Ifemade explained that everything brokers do or are able to do will be defined by the federal government policy budget, just like the newly signed finance act.
“The idea behind the event this year is not just about the budget and Finance Act but how it affects us so we know how to take our industry to the next level,” she said.
In a chat with our correspondent, the Publicity Secretary of the Lagos Area Committee, Godwin Onyeke said that the primary objective of the program is essentially to keep “our members abreast of new development as it concerns our operating business environment and the insurance industry in particular. We gather to brainstorm on topical issues affecting our businesses,” he said.
“In addition, REGIC, our partner for this edition are here to enlighten our members on their products innovation as well as strategic evolution within the company and how Brokers can take advantage of their robust & dynamic service offerings in driving their business development activities particularly as professional marketing arm of the insurance industry.”
The event was hosted by the Royal Exchange General Insurance Company Limited (REGIC) which recently launched its business digital transformation initiative. The company through its Managing Director/CEO Benjamin Agili at the event disclosed the initiative focuses on three core areas which includes modernisation of the company’s operating systems, strengthening the brand and significantly improving customer experience.
Agili said REGIC over the years has metamophised from an agency business to a full-fledged company set up and previously owned by foreigners to a wholly owned indigenous publicly quoted company on the Nigeria Stock Exchange.
According to him, REGIC concluded her first successful equity investment of 10 million dollars with the InsuResilience Investment Fund (IIF) of German Development Bank in October 2019, securing N3.6 billion in exchange for a 39.25% in REGIC. “REGIC has made significant progress in championing innovations in agric insurance, royal titanuim motor insurance, entertainment insurance amongst others,” he added.
He assured at it with all these in place, he was confident that the company will meet with the new recapitalisation requirement set by National Insurance Commission ( NAICOM) by second quarter (Q2) 2020.