March 24, 2023

Stakeholders in the insurance sector have charged insurance companies to invest in green products in line with the Nairobi Declaration on Sustainable insurance.

A communique issued on Friday by Dr Abbas Olufemi for the College of Insurance and Financial Management (CIFM), stated this, as part of the resolutions of the 2022 Insurance Directors’ Conference held in Lagos.

The theme of the directors’ conference was, “Transforming The Insurance Industry Through ESG Principles: Directors’ Role.”

Stakeholders agreed in the communique that the Nigerian insurance companies needed to invest in green products such as weather insurance, pollution environment liability, crop insurance, among other products in line with the Nairobi declaration.

The Nairobi Declaration on Sustainable insurance was built on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) principles.

“To earn international respect, the insurance industry in Nigeria should start engaging in things that are appealing to the global community.

“Efforts should not only be directed at providing green products, they should ensure that insurance payouts promote sustainability,” said the communique.

According to the insurers, climate change has serious negative effect on the environment, hence sustainability should be integrated into all investment decisions of insurance firms.

The stakeholders stated that insurance served as a veritable tool to solve sustainable challenges such as pollution, poverty, social inequality, climate change, among others.

They noted that the insurance industry must perform three key roles in achieving sustainable development, which included; insurance role, risk manager role and investor role.

The stakeholders urged the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) to clarify and harmonise standards for climate-related reporting and also adopt the outcome of COP 27 to facilitate the expansion of the Nigerian market.

They advised NAICOM to provide incentives that would drive and address the various challenges posed to ESG.

The insurers noted that ESG’s performance should occupy the top of corporate agenda and should be of interest to all stakeholders, especially the directors.

“ESG principle can lead to business and sustainability drive through financial toolkit for the environment and providing insurance business responsibly.

“As the bedrock of sustainability, governance depends on the tone of the top management and the Board, so sustainability initiatives require the board action.

“Board members must constantly be trained in the areas of sustainability, ESG, CSR and corporate governance, and be conversant with NAICOM and other relevant codes of corporate governance,” they submitted.

Speakers at the the conference included: Mr Sunday Thomas, Commissioner for Insurance, Mr Philip Lopokoiyit, Group CEO, ICEA Lion, Kenya, Mr Thomas Wiechers, Assistant Director, FSD Africa, Ms Chizoma Okoli, Deputy Managing Director, Retail South, Access Bank Plc.

Others are: Mr Edwin Igbiti, President/Chairman, Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN), Mrs Yetunde Ilori, Chairman, CIFM and Dr Yeside Oyetayo, Rector, CIFM

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