Today, we, as journalists, are not only watching and reporting, but participating actively in reshaping the two industries and propelling them to growth
The Chairman of the National Association of Insurance and Pension Correspondents (NAIPCO), Mr Chuks Udo Okonta in his welcome speech delivered at the 2021 NAIPCO National Conference Held on Thursday, October 14, 2021 at Oriental Hotel, Lagos
Mr Okonta, who is Chairman of NAIPCO and also Publisher of Inspenonline an online channel said Today marks another milestone in the anal of insurance and pension reporting in Nigeria.
He pointed out that when the current crops of executive of the National Association of Insurance and Pension Correspondents (NAIPCO) took over last year, one main objective is to embark on developmental journalism, by building on the legacies we met on ground and re-tweak to add further values.
This conference, NAIPCO Chairman said which is in its 6th edition, is one of those avenues to contribute our quotas to the growth and development of the two critical sectors we cover, which are; insurance and pension sectors. Today, we, as journalists, are not only watching and reporting, but participating actively in reshaping the two industries and propelling them to growth, he added.
“The last two years have been extremely hard for Nigerians, Africans and the world at large. The invasion of the deadly coronavirus pandemic across the world and Nigeria inclusive rewrites the business environment template.
“Human interface was limited, most operations went online and those who were not technologically savvy were left in the dustbin of the past, as the world matches on with full speed.
“Though, businesses closed shops, people died and sources of livelihood shrank as a result of the pandemic, but it opened up several opportunities in other areas of businesses that may not have been explored if not for the Covid-19.
He said Financial sector operations become more sophisticated as Face to face interaction went into oblivion, hence, projecting the human and machine interactions.
“Today, the banking hall has shifted online, as one can practically starts and finish a banking transaction without leaving the comfort of his house or office.
In similar scenario, Okonta, noted that procuring insurance products becomes easier, while the Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) have improved on technology to serve customers better and seamless. One critical advantage of the virus too was that, it sharpened the censor of people’s thinking to be aware that we are all living in the world of danger, he stressed.
NAIPCO Chairman said that for those who had Business interruption insurance coverage and health insurance cover during the peak of the pandemic, insurance industry came to their rescue; most of them were back on their feet again.
Similarly, he cited for those who lost jobs while the crisis lasted, the pension contributors were able to access 25 per cent of savings in their Retirement Savings Accounts (RSAs) courtesy of the pension industry.
“Witnessing some of the goodies of these two critical concepts and the consequence of not subscribing to either, have further opened the eyes of many who were earlier blinded by the clitche of ‘God Forbids’
“People are gradually eager to insure their lives and businesses, provided they are enlightened and convinced they are dealing with the right people. Similarly, workers are forcing companies to meet their monthly pension obligations, so as to ensure that, whatever happens in the future, they have a good retirement, ensure their family do not suffer after their demised, among others.
NAIPCO Chairman acknowledge how covid-19 development creates an opportunity for both sectorial players to increase their awareness and widened their tentacle to capture this niche market.
“The 2021 Conference committee ably chaired by our own, Mr. Modestus Anaesoronye, has assembled experienced human capital to do justice to the theme of today’s event, which is; “Covid:19 Impact On Financial Inclusion; Opportunities For Insurance and Pension Sectors.”
According to the Chairman, our Keynote Speaker, Mrs. Folashade Onanuga, whose last point of call in the pension industry was spearheading the Lagos State Pension Commission (LASPEC) is a woman of many parts. She was chosen by the committee because of her experience in both insurance and pension sectors and we are sure, in our mind that she will do justice to the theme, he added.