The industry that got left behind
Following the introduction of new capital requirements by the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), we anticipate a reduction in the current number of insurance companies from 59 to 25.
Nigeria’s insurance industry has not shared in the growth experienced by other Nigerian financial services, notably banks, pension funds and mutual funds. In fact, it has hardly grown in real terms over 10 years. Without scale, the industry suffers from poor returns on equity.
Yet its smallness is also its opportunity. If it were to grow to the level reached by countries with similar GDP per capita, it might grow by a factor of 10 times in real terms in eight to 10 years. The technological infrastructure and data necessary for expansion are largely available.
Re-capitalization, mergers & acquisitions
The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) is imposing steep new capital
requirements, due in June 2020. We believe these will reduce the current 59 companies to around 25. There are close parallels with the banking reform of 2004. The banking industry grew rapidly after that, so the question is how the insurance industry can grow after 2020. In the meantime, there will be capital raising and M&A.