Funmi Babington-Ashaye tenders report card

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Chuks Udo Okonta

The President. Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN) Mrs Funmi Babington-Ashaye, having steered the affairs of the institute for 10 months, has tendered her report card.

She presented the card at a media conference in Lagos, admitting that the last 10 months have been very eventful and gave glory to the Almighty God for grace and strength of character to serve the noble Institute.

She noted that the theme of her Presidency was, “Insurance-imperative for Education and Enlightenment”, adding that the theme was strategically chosen to address the observed information gap that exists between the insurance profession/industry and the insuring public/other stakeholders.

She said all the activities during the year were hinged on the following five key pillars: regular advocacy; members’ continuing professional development; enhanced insurance awareness; continued efforts on institute’s building and reorganisation of the secretariat.

Details of her score card are below:

Regular Advocacy
As conceptualized, this initiative involves reaching out to key stakeholders, policy makers including top Government functionaries to persuade them to create an enabling environment for insurance to thrive in their domains and also for them to embrace the Insurance philosophy.
Pursuant to this, we visited and engaged the following key public functionaries to encourage them to see insurance not only as a great profession but also to leverage insurance products to secure public sector assets and enhance their ability to create wealth for this and future generations.
a. Governor of Ogun State in September 2017
b. Governor of Oyo State on 26th October 2017.
c. Governor of Ondo State on 1st November, 2017
d. Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita, FCA on 5thof March 2018 in Abuja.
e. Public lecture was held for CIIN members and the public on Voluntary Asset and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) on the 8th March 2018.
The visit to the Head of the Civil Service was particularly important. Unlike other professional qualifications (e.g., ACA, LLB) that are recognized in the Scheme of Service, the qualification of CIIN is not included despite the fact that it has been duly recognized by the Federal Ministry of Education. During the visit to the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, therefore, I canvassed for the official gazzetting of the qualification of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria which had already been approved by the Federal Ministry of Education. We were greatly encouraged by the response and assurance of the Head of Civil Service that the matter will be dealt with urgently by the relevant government agencies. We also used the opportunity to canvass for the insurance of public sector assets by insurance companies to protect them against unforeseen contingencies.

To further raise the awareness of our members and the public, we organized one day public lecture in partnership with Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) and KPMG which was adjudged a huge success.

Members’ Continuing Professional Development

Capacity building programmes

During the period under review, the Institute organized a series of trainingprogrammes to enhance the professional development of members. In specific terms, the Institute:
(i) Collaborated with the Lagos Business School to conduct a training on “Managing Weak Insurance Companies amidst Industry Re-branding in Nigeria”.
(ii) Organized the 2018 Business Outlook titled, “Economic Policies of the Government in 2018: Issues, Challenges and Prospects for the Insurance Industry” in Lagos on Tuesday 20th February 2018.
(iii) Held a Series of Breakfast Seminars with the following themes:
o Insurance Technology: ‘Reshaping the future of the Insurance Industry’ in Lagos on Tuesday 20th June, 2017.
o ‘The Millennials’ Behavioral Pattern: Implication for the Insurance Industry and Financial Sector”, in Lagos on 27thSeptember 2017.
o ‘Strict Regulatory Enforcement and Compliance: A Stimuli for the development of the Insurance Industry’ in Abuja, on 6th March 2018.
During these sessions, renowned multi-disciplinary experts were invited to share their experiences with insurance practitioners.

Introduction of MSc in Insurance and Risk Management

As result of the developments occurring in the business environment, the Council strategically decided to enrich the academic content of the Insurance Profession. As result, during the year, the Institute initiated a collaborationwith the University of Lagos on introduction of an MSc degree in Insurance and Risk Management by the university. The curriculum for the partnership has been drawn up and would be presented to the Senate of the University for consideration and ratification. The MoU for the collaboration exercise is in the process of being signed.

Collaboration with CII, UK

I also led a delegation of the Institute to hold discussions with the CII, London on the 27th of March 2018 aimed at enhancing the quality of our training programmes and examination processes. Key areas for further collaboration were agreed as follows:
▪ Assist CIIN with its qualifying examinations so that its students can gain more recognition for prior learning.
▪ Encouragement of members with Diploma and Advanced Diploma Certificate to acquire ACII London through exemptions and examination.
▪ Promotion of Takaful products to Takaful companies operating in Nigeria such that the College of Insurance will collaborateand jointly run a certificate course in Takaful with them.
▪ Appointment of CIIN as channel of distribution in Nigeria for CIIe-learning package to be introduced to companies for staff training.
▪ Commence work attachments for key employees with CII, UK to share knowledge on best practices.
▪ Collaborate with the College of Insurance to raise the quality of its programmes
▪ Review and make input into the content of CIIN’s proposed MSc programme with the University of Lagos for the purpose of granting exemptions to holders of such qualifications.

Exchange Programme with Peers in Hong Kong

In order to improve our network of technical information as well as benchmark international industry practices with our peers in other jurisdictions, I led a delegation of captains of Insurance Industry on an exchange visit to Hong Kong between May 12th and 19th, 2018. The working visit exposed delegates, who are mainly CEOs of Insurance companies, to the insurance best practices in Hong Kong. From the feedback received, the programme greatly enriched members’ knowledge on emerging issues and strategies for dealing with them.

College of Insurance and Financial Management

Thus far, the College of Insurance and Financial Management has been organizing relevant training programmes in collaboration with other stakeholders in the industry. Some of such programmes organized during the year include:
▪ Managing Partnership in Insurance Business 3rd – 4th August 2017.
▪ Banc assurance Certificate workshop – 26th – 28th September 2017
▪ Basic and Advance Banc assurance 28th – 30th November 2017
▪ Insurance Marketing and Agency Management 21st – 22nd February 2018
▪ Actuarial Valuation 1st – 2nd March 2018
▪ Marketing Research in Collaboration with ILO 6th – 9th March, 2018
▪ Life Assurance 28th – 29th March 2018

Revised Code of Ethics for Insurance Practitioners in Nigeria

As I noted in my acceptance speech, there is need for members to continue to discharge their professional duties with high ethical disposition. This is the best way to rebuild and sustain the trust and confidence of the profession/industry’s stakeholders. Pursuant to this I set up a committee to review the Institute’s Code of Ethics such that its provisions are up to date and in tandem with best practices. I am delighted to report that the revised edition of the Code of Ethics for Insurance Practitioners in Nigeria will be launched during the National Insurance Conference which will be held from 8th – 10th July 2018 in Abuja. This Code, which applies to all Insurance Practitioners, clearly define how they should deal with issues and their responsibilities to clients, the general public, government, regulators, the Institute and their professional colleagues.

​ENHANCED INSURANCE AWARENESS

Publication of e-Newsletter
As part of the strategy to inform and engage members about the happenings in the insurance industry and economy as a whole, the Council under my leadership, commenced the publication of a monthly e-Newsletter. Since the publication of the inaugural edition in September 2017, the Council has continued, without fail, to publish and circulate it to disseminate information to members on major Institute and Industry events. So far, the Institute haspublished ten editions of the e-newsletter.

Donation of Insurance Texts to schools

As part of the ongoing efforts by the Institute to create Insurance awareness amongst the youths, Council approved, three years ago, the distribution of the Institute’s Sponsored Insurance Textbooks for Senior Secondary Schools to schools. The following presentations were made during the period under review:
▪ State Education Board of Federal Capital Territory, Abuja – 12thSeptember, 2017
▪ Lissabi Grammar School, Abeokuta – 19th September, 2017
▪ Oyo State Ministry of Education – 26th October, 2017
▪ National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS), Abuja – 5th March, 2018
Also insurance books were donated to the following Tertiary Institutions:
▪ Ibadan Polytechnic​​​​-​26th October, 2017
▪ Federal University of Technology, Akure​-​1st November, 2017
▪ Joseph Ayo Babalola University, Arakeji​-​1st November, 2017

Catch Them Young

Under my Presidency, a youth empowerment programme tagged, “Catch them Young for Youth Corps members” was initiated in Lagos in December, 2017 in which over 700 Youth Corps members, at the Iyana-Ipaja Camp, registered and participated. At the end of the programme, Insurance Agency Certificates were issued to them with referral letters to aid their internship in Insurance firms during the course of their service year. This initiative will be sustained through subsequent batches of the NYSC.

Establishment and Accreditation of Insurance Department in Higher Institutions

I am pleased to report that talks have reached an advanced stage between the Institute and Babcock University in respect of the establishment of an Insurance Department in the school. The curriculum for the programme has been prepared and will be presented to the Senate of the University for approval.

Accreditation of Tertiary Institutions offering Insurance course has also been intensified. To this end, a team from the Institute visited Niger Delta University in Bayelsa State from 5th to 8th February, 2018 to carry out the accreditation of the institution’s BSc Insurance programme which has been approved by the National Universities Commission.

Also, in order to foster closer relationship with tertiary institutions offering insurance, Heads of Insurance Departments of such institutions were hosted to a seminar by the Institute on 25th September 2017, where major issues relating to the delivery of qualitative insurance education were discussed.

Progress on Institute’s Building

The completion of this project is one that has drawn the attention of a number of Past Presidents before me. Their effort represents Council’s determination to complete the project. We are currently pursuing the option of Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) model to fund the project. I am delighted to report that the Institute has secured the Approval of the Building Plan by the Lagos State Government and also paid all outstanding fees to ensure that there will be no encumbrance hindering development on the project.

Reorganization of the Secretariat

I am also pleased to report that the renovation of the national Secretariat of the Institute in Ebute-Metta, Lagos has been completed. The facilities at the Institute have also been upgraded to enhance service delivery. The implementation of the 2015 KPMG Report on the Strategic Action Plan to reposition the Institute is ongoing and progressing steadily. The Institute’s workforce is being exposed to modern training to enhance delivery on key aspects of the plan.

To further motivate the staff, the Council recently approved increase in staff salary and this has been implemented. This is expedient as the growth of the Institute depends majorly on a well-motivated and productive workforce. There has been a positive reaction from staff in terms of diligence/dedication to work.

Resuscitation of Elders’ Forum

The Insurance Profession and Industry thrive significantly on the goodwill and wealth of experience of its founding fathers and elders. It was in view of this, that the Council created the Elders’ Forum which, unfortunately, became inactive. I am delighted to report that this great forum was successfully resuscitated this Presidential year and a networking session was held with our elders on 12th January 2018 at the Metropolitan Club, Lagos. The event was well attended and applauded within the industry.

CONCLUSION

Distinguished members of the Press, I feel fulfilled that, in so short a time, we have been able to achieve the various strategic objectives articulated in my acceptance speech/inaugural address. I would therefore like to express my profound gratitude to the governing Council and my colleagues for their invaluable support, co-operation and rare opportunity they have given me to serve our noble institute. I am humbled by the confidence reposed in me. To God be all the glory.
As I step aside on the 18th July 2018, I will continue to support the Institute, profession and industry at large.

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