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Chuks Udo Okonta
The Risk Managers Society of Nigeria (RIMSON) has been commended for championing risk management education and awareness in the country.
The Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs Winifred Ekanem Oyo-Ita, FCA, NPOM, in a Goodwill Message while declaring open the 2018 National Risk Management Confab in Abuja, lauded RIMSON for its roles especially the choice and timing of its conference theme, stating that ” the theme for this year’s conference ‘Risk Management and Nation Building – Transforming National Challenges to Opportunities’ is very relevant, considering the various challenges facing our nation at this crucial time”
She stated that “Government certainly needs your support as Risk Managers to effectively pre-empt most of the national challenges, be it natural disaster like flash floods ravaging several parts of the country or other socio-economic problems” The Guest of Honour was of the view that the application of risk management solutions to the wide spectrum of our national challenges, holds out huge potentials “for proffering solutions that could prevent or turn those adversities to opportunities”, Mrs Oyo-Ita urged that the task of nation-building is a collective one stating that together we will all continue to strive towards addressing the challenges of our country in their diverse forms.
A statement by RIMSON’s Media Consultant, Joseph Obah, noted that while driving
home her views, the flag-bearer of the Civil Service of the Federation, Oyo-Ita shared some of the efforts from her office in confronting the challenges in the Federal Civil Service. “We have designed a Four-year Strategic Plan tagged “2017-2020 Federal Civil Service Strategy and Implementation Plan” to combat various challenges facing the Civil Service. One of the core areas of the Plan is to launch a strategic sourcing of identified skills by bringing into the Service external talents to drive high-level impacts in some of our reform areas via partnership, especially in the area of affordable but befitting housing for Civil Servants.
Throwing more light on the housing strategy, Mrs Oyo-Ita buttressed the fact that housing is next to food in man’s hierarchy of needs. She said that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) in cognissance of this fact had approved the 2017-2020 Federal Civil Service Strategy and Implementation Plan of the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, which comprises eight (8) priority areas one of which is to enhance the value proposition of the Civil Servants by improving their access to affordable housing, adding that pursuant to this her office successfully launched the Federal Integrated Staff Housing (FISH) Programme being a welfare package to assist Civil Servants to acquire their homes through the provision of mortgage facilities with a long-term repayment period. The FISH Programme according to the Civil Service Boss currently has over 55, 000 Federal Public Servants registered in the scheme and several houses being constructed and at different levels of completion across the country.
The Head of Civil Service said that RIMSON is uniquely positioned to be one of the collaborators which the Service craves, especially in the area of providing advocacy through its awareness campaign programmes in the quest to attract counterpart support from both Federal and State Government Agencies for the provision of land and necessary primary infrastructure in order to help reduce the cost of housing.
RIMSON was similarly lauded by the National Pension Commission (PenCom) which gave a far-reaching presentation during the conference on the inherent financial risks in Pensions Management. The Speaker Ibrahim Kangiwa, Head, Market Analysis and Policy Unit, went through the gamut of financial issues in pensions management, providing in-depth insights into the measures and risk management controls put in place by PenCom. Ibrahim Kangiwa conveyed the goodwill message of the Commission in recognition of the critical role being played by RIMSON and other stakeholders in ensuring sustainability of businesses in the face of daunting challenges.
Vice Chancellor of Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida University, Professor Muhammad Nasirudeen Maiturare, speaking on behalf of other Fellowship recipients during the Awards session of the 2018 National Risk Management Conference, commended RIMSON, especially the Society’s commitment in fostering risk management education and awareness creation. Prof Maiturare pledged the commitment of the new Fellows in joining hands with RIMSON to further promote the ethos of risk management as RIMSON ambassadors, especially in his own unique position in the citadel of learning.
President of the Institute of Directors IoD, Alhaji Ahmed Rufai Mohammed, FloD, one of the new fellows was full of commendation for the roles of RIMSON in the entrenchment of risk management in the nation’s socio-economic fabric. He said that he is elated by the honour and pledged his support for the worthy cause being pursued by RIMSON.
It is pertinent to state that papers which addressed critical risk management issues were presented during the conference. These include:
● The theme paper RISK MANAGEMENT AND NATION BUILDING-TRANSFORMING NATIONAL CHALLENGES TO OPPORTUNITIES which was ably delivered by Engineer Peter Onyeri, an acclaimed International Aviation Safety Expert with decades of experience. Onyeri, with the aid of relevant case studies was able to validate the propositions of the conference theme. He cited the case of Rwanda as a classic transformation model focusing Paul Kigame’s ability to turn around the fortunes of the war-torn Rwanda into a haven through a symbolic social contract with his people. The presenter referred to Kigali, the Rwandan Capital as a model city, stating that if Kigame could convert the challenges which ravaged Rwanda into gaping opportunities, the world ought not to look elsewhere for a model for socio-economic revolution.
Engineer Onyeri also examined the Singapore Model, describing how the City State of Singapore was transformed from “Third World to First”. Lee Kuan Yew has become a world transformation model for his ability to provide exemplary leadership, moving Singapore from a British colony in South East Asia into independence in 1965 after it pulled out from its merger with Malaysia.
The presenter brought his message home by focusing the Lagos State of Nigeria Model. He called it THE METROPOLITAN LAGOS MODEL in which a metropolitan city geographically located on a relatively small area of land on the South Western tip of the Federal Republic of Nigeria presents a unique transformation model that has continued to command special interests in developmental studies. The Speaker in this case study validates the proposition that positive transformation can thrive even in the midst of apparent hopelessness when the right leader emerges. He said that Ashiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s emergence as Governor of Lagos State may have turned Lagos into a relatively new generation ultra-rich Nigerian State. The speaker described Tinubu as the strategist who built on the survival instincts of a vastly challenged state to grow the fortunes of Lagos through an epochal Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) The Lagos Metropolitan model has been privileged to have successive leadership with shared vision, leading to the consolidation of the Tinubu Legacies which are exemplified by structures such as LASTMA, BRT and others. Lagos is currently witnessing numerous urban renewal projects driven by a strong Project Management Culture under a government that has maintained continuity and focus on a strategic vision for Lagos as a Smart City.
● MANAGING NATIONAL CATASTROPHE RISKS, presented by Mr Sunday Olorundare Thomas, Deputy Commissioner (NAICOM) for Insurance in charge of technical matters at the National Insurance Commission. His paper was an eye-opener, making vital statements about the imperative for reinforcing the extant disaster management policies while also stressing the need to identify and pre-empt collateral damage if and when disasters occur. Mr. Thomas also recommended adequate and appropriate funding of disaster management and recovery programmes.
● The paper on Enterprise Risk Management-An Overview of the Risk Management Process was delivered by Mr. Raymond Akalonu, whose expertise in ERM and Compliance was evident in the presentation. Mr. Akalonu took the conference delegates through the risk management process with ample case studies. The ERM paper canvassed layers of responsibilities in ensuring the effectiveness of managing the risks of an enterprise and ensuring the smooth running of the organization with minimal risk exposures.
President of Risk Managers Society of Nigeria, Engineer Jacob Adeosun, FRMN in his address, reviewed the recent strides of RIMSON, drawing attention to the Society’s objectives, especially the quest towards making RIMSON the hub of Risk Management Education in Nigeria and ultimately in the West African Sub-region through the establishment of the Centre for Risk Management Development (CRMD). The CRMD is approved by the Federal Ministry of Education as the Training, Education and Research Arm of RIMSON.
Adeosun cited the Society’s publication of a world-class magazine, The Risk Management Digest which was presented to the public during the official opening of the conference. The Digest boasts of a rich collection of learned articles across a wide spectrum of disciplines. The RIMSON President welcomed the newly inducted members and Fellows into the fold .He spoke about the huge expectations and the fact that the Society of Fellows constitute the beacons of risk management practice in their respective jurisdictions..The President acknowledged the contributions of sponsors to the huge success of the conference and awards ceremonies, calling for more collaboration in the task of making Risk management a culture in Nigeria.
One of the high points of the Abuja Confab was the inauguration of the Abuja branch of RIMSON, a step geared to bring the Society to the door-steps of Government in order to enhance its risk management advocacy for government agencies and parastatals. Dr. Abdulkadir Sani of the Group Risk management and Insurance Division of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) was charged with the responsibility of leadingthe Abuja branch in his capacity as branch chairman.
Over One Hundred and Fifty delegates rubbed minds on the issues thrown up by the presentations during the two-day confab held on 31st October and 1st November, 2018 at NICON Luxury, Abuja, leading to far-reaching resolutions which shall be widely circulated.