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Aig-Imoukhuede: Nigeria needs bigger insurance, asset mgt companies

Aig-Imoukhuede: Nigeria needs bigger insurance, asset mgt companies
March 24
18:25 2021

Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, former group managing director of Access Bank and founder of Africa Initiative for Governance (AIG), says Nigeria’s financial market needs bigger insurance and asset management companies to participate in the economy.

He suggested a consolidation programme similar to the banking industry.

Aig-Imoukhuede disclosed this on Wednesday during a media briefing ahead of the March 29 launch of his new book titled ‘Leaving the Tarmac: Buying a Bank in Africa’.

“Nigerian insurance companies are not big enough, asset management firms are too small and fintechs as well. That is the problem of financial intermediation in Nigeria today, not necessarily the banks,” Aigboje said at the event attended by TheCable.

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“Globally insurance companies and asset managers are the largest financial intermediaries in an economy.

“Africa is lagging behind in asset management and insurance with perhaps the exception of South Africa. We need to fix that or remain left behind.”

In the book, Aig-Imoukhuede recounts the events leading to the acquisition of Access Bank in 2002 and growing it with Herbert Wigwe, his partner and present chief executive officer (CEO), into Nigeria’s biggest bank by customer base and Africa’s banking powerhouse.

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“There is a time for everything. When you are building a bank, just as you are buying a nation, there are stages that call for significant sacrifices in that building process,” he said.

“My point of stewardship in Access Bank was the point that called for true sacrifice across all levels. I believe that a leader must be like an Israeli general. The Israeli army suffers high mortality of their generals. This is simply because their generals must lead from the front.

“I can’t ask my people to do anything I wouldn’t do. I show them by doing it myself. Same for Herbert (Wigwe) and so on.

“And if you read in my book, I am not advocating that everyone pays that type of sacrifice. I nearly died in building this bank.”

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He also encouraged Nigerian youth that they do not need to have a godfather before they can achieve their dreams.

TheCable had reported how officials of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) delayed the approval for the acquisition of Access Bank because they felt he and Wigwe were “too young.”

 

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