No fewer than 10,000 unlicensed agents are still transacting business in the nation’s insurance industry, while less than 10,000 are fully registered with the Association of Registered Insurance Agents of Nigeria(ARIAN) this, the association has discovered.
The President, ARIAN Gbadebo Olamerun, made the disclosure at the 2017 Yearly National Conference AGM,Election & Award Ceremony tagged Insurance Agencypreneur: The Dynamics Of increase Growth Proposition For Creating Sustainable Employment in Nigeria.
He has therefore called on insurers to ensure that their agents are licensed by the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM).
His position is hinged on the belief that increasing the number of registered agents with NAICOM will increase premium collection which will lead to increase in insurance gross domestic product (GDP) contribution in the country.
He said: “My vision is to make insurance agency business easy by collaborating with other stakeholders in and outside the industry, especially with state governments, NAICOM, NIA, CIIN, NCRIB etc to foster the deepening of insurance penetration in Nigeria. We will also collaborate with my constituency, the agents, in introducing interactive session with all insurance agents.
“This drive will afford all the major players in the industry opportunity to meet with the agents, increasing their capacities, give them a positive mind set and sense of belonging.
“As we speak, we have 3,000 registered agents with NAICOM and we project that by 2015, we would have registered 20,000 agents into the books of ARIAN and NAICOM.”
On the Market Developmental Restructuring Initiative (MDRI), he noted that the association will drive the project with a national holistic view of mobilising all insurance agents for its execution.
Speaking further, he said his leadership will continuously equip its members on the skills needed to sell insurance business to the grassroot.
He said: “We will also ensure agents are certified by CIIN because we have been able to push for a reduction of the amount for the proficiency test certification which is the most expensive requirement for agent’s registration with NAICOM.
‘We also want to add value to agency network by recruiting more matured executives such as retired personnel and retrenched bank staff to market specific products such as annuity.
“The era of commission only aided and abetted sharp practices among some agents which have affected the image of the insurance industry. However, ARIAN has set up a portal in its website to check the activities of members, relate with HR of each organisation, and collaborate with the insurance companies to reduce sharp practices to the barest .
He said that insurance is still very strange to the people in the rural areas, adding that with the issue of financial inclusion, insurance operators must go beyond what they are doing to boost insurance penetration in the country.