Lagos based Oasis Insurance has capital in excess of three billion naira and the 71.2 per cent stake will give Sanlam and FBN Holdings, which respectively hold 35 per cent and 65 per cent in FBN Life, admission into the insurance sector.
“We entered Nigeria in about 2010, we entered as a joint venture with FBN and established FBN Life, so our entry into the Nigerian market has been via the Life company and part of our strategy is to deepen our relationships with our existing partners,” Thabied Majal, Corporate Development Executive at Samlam told CNBC Africa.
The Nigerian insurance sector of the economy has been growing in excess of 7.6 per cent a year on average since 2003 and the South African financial services group plans on leveraging on this sector.
“We certainly do not plan on going ahead to try and replicate what we have in South Africa. So we work with our local partners to understand the local working conditions, what the locals needs are and then we go and source the necessary technical skills and then take it to those markets,” he explained.
According to Majal, Sanlam already has a bold representation in Nigeria and plans on working with the local partners and entrust local management to run the operations.
“Some of the lessons we’ve learnt is to be humble as to entrust and empower the locals to run the company. We don’t try and impose how we do it or even adopt a 'thou shalt not' attitude with the local companies so it’s really working with them.”
Statistics from Nigeria showed that the general insurance sector contributes close to 80 per cent of total insurance premiums.