• Sunday, April 21, 2024
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Mutual Benefits driving insurance through transport sector platforms

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 Mutual Benefits Assurance plc through investments in the transportation sector is providing platforms that support economic growth through wealth creation, employment generation as well as provide insurance for the uninsured mass.

The investment in transportation including the Lagos State Bus Rapid Transport; Airport Car Hire Association Partnerships, Erewole Ekiti Kete Scheme and the Motor Cycle Empowerment programme in the North the Company said, were avenues to create economic value across the country, using insurance as vehicle.

Akin Ogunbiyi, group managing director, Mutual Benefits Group said the Company’s strategy is to take insurance to the nooks and crannies of the country, by providing platforms that people of all segments can associate with and through this find need for insurance.

“Through this platform, we have generated huge insurance premiums that were lying untapped, which ordinarily would not have found its way into insurance industry.”

The new goal of the company he noted is impacting development and growth of Nigeria economy through creating dynamism, partnership and of course empowerment.

“In the Lagos State Transport Scheme, we are almost the last man standing now when it comes to transportation and involvement of private sector and that scheme alone employed about 1,200 graduates and this is exactly what we want insurance to do, create value and then empower people.”

According to Ogunbiyi, each bus employs 4 staff, that work on shifts, some work 5.30am in the morning to 2.00pm and 2.00pm to 10.00pm and these are all empowerments.

“There is the Airport Car Hire Association of Nigeria (ACHAN), where we have over 400 Camry cars across the ten functional airports in Nigeria. We are not Father Christmas because for every empowerment we did, there is insurance element attached. So in each of the 400 Camry cars, we are offering group life cover, which premium wouldn’t have come to the industry. Again for the cars, many of them would have opted for third party, but we made it part of the package, that they have to do comprehensive.

“Of course, why did this come up? They didn’t just come to us, we went to them to educate them on the benefits they can get. That was when the federal government said for you to operate car hire at the airport, this is the particular type of car that you have to use.

“If you don’t have a Mutual Benefits that can think outside the box, that have creative dynamism, all those people would have been disengaged and become the unemployed.

“But Mutual Benefits came with this scheme, and we have about 250 different National Union of Road Transport Workers’ Associations in Lagos and we are working with all of them. And because they cannot afford new cars, we again came to their level; we empowered them with fairly used cars. And you know the beautiful aspect of this? The informal sector is the symbol of integrity, there is no single default.”

According to the GMD, there is also the Erewole Scheme, an interstate transport scheme in Ekiti Kete. “We have commissioned a new scheme in Ekiti Kete under Fountain Holdings, and have just given them brand new buses to start that. And when you see ‘Powered by Mutual Benefits’, is that not insurance? They can’t access these monies from banks; if they are able to access some banks, interest or any other thing will kill them. But whichever ways we are able achieve it, we are actually enjoying it.”

Again, through the empowerment project, Mutual Benefits has provided 20,000 motor cycles to qualified members of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) in some states in the North, and they are repaying through direct deductions in approval of the States Governments. Ordinarily, insurance is a hard sell in the north, but we have succeeded in giving them value to associate with insurance.

“It is N5,000 to cover the motorcycle and its rider, for death benefit of up to 250,000. So, if I sell 50,000 motorcycles at the rate of 5,000 naira, that’s N250 million. These are premiums that wouldn’t have come to the industry and we are enjoying it,” Ogunbiyi noted.

 

MODESTUS ANAESORONYE