PRESIDENT'S ACCEPTANCE SPEECH
First and foremost I give glory to God for His mercies. I owe my life and my presence here today to God Almighty that has been so gracious. I thank God for the gift of life and for being there for me all through my journey in life. I cannot thank Him enough for his priceless gifts and showers of blessing.
I am humbled by the calibre and number of eminent personalities from all works of life, professional colleagues, friends and well wishers that have come to witness my investiture as the 44th President of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria. The presence of my professional colleagues and Elders in the Industry is a testimony of their trust and confidence in my ability to sustain the good work of my predecessors and the aspirations of the founding fathers.
I have not come to lay a new foundation but to continue the march towards greatness by my predecessors from Late Braithwaite through Mrs. C. A Rowaiye to Mr. Sunny Adeda from whom I just received the baton of leadership today. Rather, I consider the task as our collective effort which is built on our strong resolve to see that the vision of our founding fathers for the insurance profession shall not be in vain, but being successfully pursued to accomplishment.
I salute the Past Presidents for their pioneering roles and continued support. While I consider it a great privilege to share your experiences, I pray for the repose of the souls of our departed leaders and long life for those who are still with us. God will continue to bless them with good health and many more years in the service of the Institute and humanity in General. Their unalloyed support is a reassurance that the flag which was hoisted in 1959 is still flying.
The theme of my tenure is “Repositioning the Insurance Profession” The next twelve months will be dedicated to promoting the relevance of Insurance profession and practitioners.
Current developments in the country call for our collaborative effort to reposition the profession and the industry. We are not unmindful of the perception of Insurance profession by the public in our peculiar environment. No doubt, the less than optimal perception of insurance practitioners and the Industry needs to be corrected.
The insurance profession is not immuned from vagaries of economic and political challenges in Nigeria and the harsh business environment that has become a big threat to business and professionals. Going by the current developments, it is high time all practitioners rose up to this common challenge.
There is need for a reawakening to ensure the continued sustenance of the profession. We must all come together to ward – off the encroachment into the core areas of Insurance practice. Evidence abound of Insurance services being rendered by bodies without the professional training and experience. This is a trend that threatens the soul of our profession, an aberration that deserves our collective attention.
The repositioning of the Insurance profession will be pursued with the following programmes of action.
1. Strengthen the Relevance of Insurance Profession in Nigeria
This programme will be pursued by
(a) Initiating the Insurance & Governmental Relations Programme of Activities (IGRP) that will objectively promote Insurance awareness among the three tiers of government in Nigeria.
(b) National Budget Input & Analysis Programme
A formidable Industry Team charged with developing inputs on a yearly basis into the National Budget will be put in place. There will also be an annual forum discuss and analyse the budget with a view to bringing to the front burner the opportunities for economic growth and, in particular, the expectations from the Insurance sector. This will be the Insurance voice on the fiscal and economic policies of government which has not been heard for a very long time.
(C) Promote the establishment of the Insurance Industry
Forum (IIF). This body will be solely charged to promote Industry Unified Goals, Inter Government Regulatory understanding and development. The forum will be under the chairmanship of the commissioner for Insurance, while membership will encompass all the various arms of the Industry. Meetings will be on quarterly basis to discuss and resolve industry issues while also initiating agenda that will propel future growth of the industry.
2. Enhancing the Quality of Insurance Education in Nigeria
The future of all professions depends largely on the quality of knowledge and skill possessed by the practitioners and Insurance cannot be an exception into the profession. The main pivots under which this will be achieved include:
(a) Concerted efforts towards the development and completion of the Institute’s College of Insurance & Financial Management and its effective take- off, aimed at mobilizing new entrants into the profession.
(b) Donation of Insurance Books to Tertiary Institutions with Insurance Departments.
(c) Establishment of a functional Research Department at the Institute to pursue studies in the technical areas of Insurance and product lines to propel growth in the Industry.
(d) Initiation of a National Insurance Debate (NIB) among all Tertiary Institutions in Nigeria.
3. Recognition of Excellence in Insurance
I believe there cannot be a better time in beginning to accord more recognition to deserving professionals in the industry, if we are to inspire up and coming generations in the profession.
Therefore, I shall endeavour to institute a Nigeria Annual Insurance Award to honour those who have excelled in the profession or who have contributed significantly to the development of Insurance over the years. The modalities and types of awards will be unveiled after further consultation with other stakeholders.
A formidable committee will be put in place to administer and implement this Annual Award Programme.
4. Awareness and Public Enlightenment
This has always been an on going agenda of past Presidents, and no efforts in this direction can suffice.
This will be embarked upon to ensure the sustenance and continuity of my predecessor’s agenda while in office. It is my desire to:
• Build on the National Radio Network Programme using all CIIN Chapters to embark on local public awareness campaign including state television broadcast.
• Introduce Insurance Career Talk at Tertiary Institutions.
• Start Insurance Day or Week in selected Local Government Areas of the Federation to serve as the pilot scheme.
Distinguished guests, professional colleagues, ladies and gentlemen, I thank you for your attention and demonstration of love on this day as I answer the call to duty in the service of our great Institute.
I thank you all for sparing time off your very busy scheduled to honour our invitation to this investiture dinner.
On behalf of my wife and children I wish to warmly welcome every one here present at this occasion and express my appreciation I particular to the chairman of this occasion,Mr. Akinsola Akinfemiwa, the special Guest of Honour, His Excellency, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, our Royal Father, the various special guests of honour, our distinguished colleagues, friends, relations who came from far and near to witness this one in a life time opportunity to be installed as the President of the Institute.