Insurance Industry Shareholders Berate Non-dividend Paying Firms

Investors in insurance industry have frowned on non-payment of premium by some insurance firms for consecutive years, threatening that if the trend continues, they would channel their investments to other industries that are capable and willing to pay them better divided.

The investors further also expressed the regret over the difficulty in disposing insurance stocks they already purchased, saying they would have outrightly sell off  the stocks and channel their funds to other industries that are willing to pay dividend.

They however expressed the hope that given the assurance of better days ahead by the board of various insurance firms they invested in ,they are ready to give such non dividend paying firms benefit of doubt by exercising patience till the next Annual General Meeting.

One of the investors, Mr. Michael  Chiakwazie  who spoke to THISDAY at the annual general meeting of one of the insurance firms that  held recently in Lagos, said he was sad that  his company did not pay dividend because  his company was not in any way doing bad in business.

According to him, the company is one  of the big players and has been on profit track for some years but has for the past three years failed to declare dividend  to shareholders.

He blamed his stockbroker saying his investment in insurance stock was on advice of his stock broker.

Another investor, Mr. Nona Awo blamed investors’ woes on the chairmen  of the companies and some key directors.

According to him, some board chairmen of insurance firms are not interested in the way the business of their firms  are ran.

He said some insurance company chairmen don’t even understand the terrain of their firms adding that even their chairman’s statement column in the annual reports was written on their behalf by someone else while they only read it at the meetings.

He also blamed some insurance companies’ directors saying some don’t attend companies’ meetings but are interested in collecting their remunerations.

THISDAY checks revealed that a good number of insurance firms that have held their Annual General Meetings this year did not declare dividend.
Some of that failed to declare dividend are AIICO Insurance, Mutual Benefit Assurance, Cornerstone Insurance, among others.

Those that declared dividend include Continental Reinsurance, which declared 11 kobo divided and Niger insurance which declared 3 kobo dividend among others.

But some insurance managers who spoke on the issue said heavy claims which came the way of some insurance firms was responsible for their non-payment of dividend.

The managers sad claims from aviation industry, oil and gas and some big manufacturing firms cost much to insurance firms involved. They however assured that the future s bright for insurance industry.

Source: Punch