Niger Insurance has reported that it paid N1.4 billion to customers in the past nine months, while efforts were on to settle all outstanding benefits.
Mr Edwin Igbiti, Managing Director of the firm, made the disclosure during a media briefing in Lagos.
Igbiti said that the delay in the payment of the outstanding claims was due to the company’s large asset portfolio, which was skewed toward fixed assets.
“The company’s assets are more than sufficient to settle all its liabilities and we have made significant progress towards liquidating some fixed assets to unlock cash and pay all outstanding obligations soon, ” he said.
The Managing Director appreciated the company’s customers for their patience, trust and understanding during the company’s challenging period and reaffirmed its renewed sense of responsibility and commitment to excellence.
He said :” There is a growing sense of purpose at Niger Insurance Plc these days.
“It feels like a new dawn with management, staff and shareholders, all working with passion and a common intent to write a great story in this new chapter of the company’s long and chequered history”.
According to him, Niger Insurance, one of the foremost composite Insurance companies, was developing a transformation blueprint for the next five years.
He said the blueprint would focus on operational and technological advancements in delivering bespoke insurance solutions to businesses, institutions and the growing populace of Nigeria.
Igbiti said the implementation of the transformation plan already began in the fourth quarter of 2019 following his appointment as the company’s new Managing Director, having completed a five meritorious years as Managing Director of AIICO Insurance Plc.
“The need for Niger Insurance Plc’s transformation is underscored by a combination of market and regulatory changes.
“Having been in operations for 57 years, it had become imperative to address legacy challenges as well as innovate to achieve service excellence, agility and competitiveness, “he said.
According to Igbiti, the three pillars of the transformation plan are: Strengthening of balance sheet, which is its financial strength; strengthening of its manpower through talent and innovation; and strengthening of its business model through sustained growth and profitability.
“In order to ensure a successful execution of this plan, the company recently reconstituted a new Board of Directors, a new management team and an array of strategic partnerships.
“At its 49th Annual General Meeting held recently, the company’s shareholders approved its recapitalization plan to meet the new regulatory capital requirements by the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM).
“This will be done 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, ” he said.
Also, Mr Ademola Salami, the company’s new Chief Financial Officer (CFO) hinted that the board and management of the company were already engaging with foreign and local investors that had shown interest in investing in the firm.
Salami said that high-level negotiations were ongoing, while expressing optimism for secured substantive offers for investment in the coming weeks.