Nigeria’s insurance opportunities rest with youth and technology

"Business can't continue as before," says FBNInsurance's Adenrele Kehinde

October 30, 2017

In the first parts of our interview with Val Ojumah and Adenrele Kehinde from FBNInsurance, they talk about how the business is working with communities to help them trust the country’s insurers, and about the growth potential in Nigeria’s retail insurance segment. In the final part we dive deeper into FBNInsurance’s growth plan, and how they’re targeting Nigeria’s growing youth with improved technology and service.

World Finance: What’s your growth plan, moving forward?

Val Ojumah: Into the future, we obviously know the external environment is changing very fast. There’s a huge opportunity arising from changing demographics. Many more young people are growing up now. Any company that is focused more on young people, and what they need, and all that goes with it, will obviously see growth in the future. And we are doing that.

There’s also a major migration of population from rural areas to cities, mainly because of jobs. Again, we recognise the impact of that in business, and we are also going to take advantage of all of that going forward.

World Finance: Are you using technology to help consumers engage with the insurance sector? Especially the youth that you’re reaching out to?

Adenrele Kehinde: Yes: nearly every Nigerian owns a mobile phone. So if you can do your transaction over a mobile phone, then you’ve got a larger part of the business.

All these young people, they want to get things on the go. They can’t wait, they can’t be filling in forms as we used to do. Business can’t continue as before. So we are following the trend, and we’re investing more money in technology.

Val Ojumah: Absolutely. If you ignore technology today, you will be counting your days on earth.

Before the end this year, we will have a mobile app, where every individual anywhere in the world can buy insurance from FBNInsurance. You can file a claim, you can check the status of your policy, you can do a whole lot more with that app. Going forward we will have a very elaborate digitalisation programme. So an essential growth plan in our business today.

World Finance: The chairman of the National Insurers’ Association has said that insurance has and will always be the backbone of the economy; how are you contributing to economic prosperity?

Val Ojumah: We’re contributing in several ways. Directly we have provided employment to about 3,000 people in just seven years. We are selling products that encourage people to save – and you know the impact of that on the economy.

Thirdly, the growth of the company has reflected in the gross written premium and in the profits before tax. We have contributed much more than most companies in the market to tax revenue for the government.

In just seven years we have done a lot more than anybody could have expected. And I think these are some of the ways we will contribute even more to the economy in the future.

World Finance: And so how do you see FBNInsurance evolving in the future?

Adenrele Kehinde: In the next two years, our strategy is to be among the first two in terms of return on equity. And we know that with the brand and with the support of our owners, we shall definitely get there.

At the moment, we have the fastest growth and we’ve won some laurels due to that. We’ve been rated A+ by Agusto Rating Index. We’ve won your award twice in three years. We also won the Cup of Nations award as the most profitable insurance company in Africa, from Sanlam this year. So we are growing, and we believe that the growth with continue.

World Finance: Adenrele, Val; thank you.

Adenrele Kehinde: Thank you very much.

Val Ojumah: Thank you very much.