The 2023 National Insurance Conference witnessed a powerful speech by Tony O. Elumelu, the Chairman of Heirs Holdings Group, Heirs Insurance Group, and UBA Group, as well as the Founder of The Tony Elumelu Foundation.
Elumelu expressed his gratitude to NAICOM for the invitation to address the esteemed gathering as the theme speaker, emphasizing the importance of such industry convenings in addressing critical issues and fostering sustained growth.
In his captivating address, Elumelu highlighted the urgent need for significant transformation in Nigeria’s insurance industry. He emphasized that insurance should be considered a national good, providing a protective roof for the people and a solid foundation for infrastructure development.
A vibrant insurance industry, according to Elumelu, not only supports businesses and enables savings but also generates tax revenue and formalizes the economy.
One alarming statistic that Elumelu drew attention to is the insurance sector’s contribution to Nigeria’s GDP, which currently stands at less than 1%, as reported by Agusto & Co. Recognizing that Nigeria, with a population of over 200 million people, demands insurance products for health, protection, and savings, Elumelu stressed the strategic role of insurance in the country’s future and development.
He further emphasized that a healthy, trusted, and innovative insurance sector should serve as a mechanism for mobilizing savings and channeling them into the much-needed infrastructure investments in Nigeria.
Elumelu acknowledged the immense potential of Nigeria’s insurance sector for economic transformation and urged all participants to leave the conference with concrete actions that would bring the industry closer to its much-needed transformation. Referring to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s recent call to increase consumer credit for boosting consumption and stimulating economic growth, Elumelu highlighted the critical role a vibrant insurance industry can play in achieving this goal.
As a successful investor across sectors in Nigeria and Africa, Elumelu shared his vision guided by the philosophy of Africapitalism – the simultaneous pursuit of economic wealth and social good. Through Heirs Holdings Group, which operates in 24 countries across Africa and four continents globally, Elumelu has made strategic long-term investments in financial services, power, energy, real estate, hospitality, healthcare, and technology.
Elumelu’s enthusiasm for transforming the insurance sector led him to venture into the industry in 2021. His Heirs Insurance Group has quickly become one of the fastest-growing insurance groups in Nigeria. However, Elumelu stressed that more work needs to be done to ensure that the insurance sector in Nigeria plays a role similar to that in other countries like the USA, UK, Netherlands, South Africa, Ghana, and Kenya, where it mobilizes investments and protects lives.
In line with the conference theme, Elumelu was invited to speak on “Redefining Safety: Insurance Solutions for Public Buildings and Buildings Under Construction.” His insightful remarks shed light on the potential for insurance to mitigate risks and enhance safety measures in Nigeria’s construction industry.
As the applause filled the conference hall, the participants were inspired by Elumelu’s passion and unwavering commitment to transforming Nigeria’s insurance industry. It is anticipated that his thought-provoking speech will activate meaningful discussions and ignite tangible actions among stakeholders to propel the industry towards a sustainable, ethical, and professional future, leading to a substantial increase in insurance penetration in the country.