27th August, 2021
By Kazeem Akande
Mrs. Olateju Philips, the Chairman of Lasaco Assurance Plc, has said that the company was able to deliver an awesome performance despite challenges in the year 2020.
Philips disclosed this during the company’s 41st Annual General Meeting held at Marriott Hotel, Ikeja GRA Lagos,
According to her, Lasaco Assurance Plc was able to generate N8.05billion in net underwriting income as against N6.71billion made in 2019, signifying an increase of 20 percent year on year.
According to her, In spite of the challenging situation experienced during the course of the year, the company was able to deliver an awesome performance in 2020 and grew stakeholders’ value. We recorded a Gross Premium Written of N10.937billion.
“This signifies a 17 percent growth in performance compared to Gross Premium Written in 2019. The company made N8.05billion in net underwriting income as against N6.71billion made in 2019 signifying an increase of 20% year on year.
“100 percent increase was recorded in profit before tax from N315.7billion in 2019 to N679.4million in 2020. Our total assets grew from N18.5billion to N20.5billion signifying an 11 percent increase while shareholders’ funds declined by 2 percent from N7.98billion in 2019 to N7.80billion in 2020,” the chairman said.
She said that with the array of economic events which the company was able to manage in the previous year and strategies put in place by the leadership of the organization, 2021 promises to be better for Lasaco Assurance Plc.
According to her, we are also hopeful that the economic policy adjustments and reforms will aid the business environment positively.
Philips said that in the last year, the company has worked assiduously to map out strategies to improve its identity and visibility to increase sales and market share.
“Our strategies are to improve our identity and visibility and to increase sales and market share.
“Our strategic digital transformation plan will aid customer experience and the diversification of income streams deepening will add tremendous value to the bottom line.
“Plans have also been devised for the diversification of our investment portfolio. This will spur the organization to grow through an increase in investment income,” she said.
The chairman decried that the COVID-19 pandemic placed Nigeria in a critical condition in 2020 as the country locked down economic activities at the beginning of the quarter of 2020 in order to minimize the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
She said the country entered the crisis with the failing per capital income, high inflation, and governance challenges which affected every aspect of business and economic lives.
Philips added that the country’s economy experienced a 3.6 percent contraction in the first three quarters of 2020 leading to the worst recessions in decades.
According to her, oil prices improved and the authorities employed policies to counter the economic distress.
“The economy even with the various unrest experienced across the country, returned to growth albeit marginally, in the final quarter of the year 2020, with GDP expanding 0.11 percent year -on year beating market expectations of 1.9 percent decline.
“Inflation galloped to a 34- month high 15.75 percent in December 2020 from 11.98 percent same period in 2019, fueled by increasing food prices due to constraints on domestic supplies and the effect of an exchanged premium that widened to about 24 percent,” she said.
Philips decried that citizens’ agitations in many parts of the country, especially the End SARS protest also disrupted lots of activities leading to loss of lives and properties.
She said that the above challenges affected insurance businesses in the country as claims in both high frequency, high severity and near catastrophes were recorded nationwide.
The Lasaco boss said that in 2020, Nigeria financially markets based her actions on the monetary policy, with the equity market rose to 50 percent in 2020.
“Nigeria economy is anticipated to grow by 1.8 percent in 2021, despite the current encouraging external situation with oil prices recovery and growth in advance economies.
“The reform shortfall will hinder the renewed economic expansion and undermine progress towards Nigeria’s development goals.
“Hopefully, policy adjustments and reforms designed to shift the country from it dependence on oil and to diversify the economy towards private sector-led growth will set Nigeria on a more sustainable path to recovery,” she averred.
She assured the shareholders, board members, management, and staff of Lasaco Assurance Plc, that it was the dawn of a new era adding that together with their continuous supports, the legacy of the organization would be sustained.