From left: Past Chairman of Nigeria Insurers Association (NIA), Dolapo Balogun; Chairman Governing Council, NIA, Eddie Efekoha; Deputy Commissioner, Technical, National Insurance Commission, Olorundare Sunday Thomas; a past Chairman, Wole Oshin; Deputy Chairman NIA, Tope Smart, and a past Chairman, Oye Hassan-Odukale during a ground breaking ceremony for a multipurpose NIA towers today in Victoria Island, Lagos.
TEXT OF SPEECH BY CHAIRMAN OF NIGERIAN INSURERS ASSOCIATION (NIA), MR. EDDIE A. EFEKOHA AT THE FOUNDATION LAYING CEREMONY OF NEW NIA TOWER, 42, SAKA TINUBU STREET, VICTORIA ISLAND, LAGOS ON THURSDAY, MAY 31ST 2018
The Commissioner of Insurance,
College of Past Chairmen of the Association,
Members of the Governing Council,
Chief Executives of member Companies here present,
The Project Management team,
Management and staff of our Association
Gentlemen of the Press,
Ladies & Gentlemen
I thank you for honouring us with your esteemed presence and I equally join the Director – General in welcoming you to this auspicious occasion in spite of the short notice.
We are here today to flag off the commencement of construction of NIA Tower and I must commend the past chairmen of the Association for their massive support which has culminated in today’s event.
Permit me to give you a little background about this project. Discussions on the need to build a befitting but affordable Secretariat for our Association started in 2015 during the tenure of Mr. G.U.S Wiggle as Chairman of our Association 2014 – 2016. The idea received overwhelming support from members as soon as it was mooted at one of our Governing Council meetings.
To give it the needed action and importantly bring the project to fruition Council immediately constituted a committee comprising myself, then the Deputy Chairman of the Association, as Chairman, Past Chairman Wole Oshin, Messrs Tope Smart and O. S. Thomas, then our DG, as members.
Although the money was not utilised at that time, it became the proverbial mustard seed as it served to remind the Council that the remodelling and eventual construction of a befitting NIA House was a project whose time had come.
Efforts in this direction gained more traction in 2015 during the tenure of Mr. G.U.S Wiggle when another past chairman, Mr. Wole Oshin introduced the matter the Governing Council meeting.
The overwhelming support for the project at that meeting led to the setting up of a Committee comprising Messrs Eddie Efekoha as Chairman, Wole Oshin, Tope Smart, Bode Akinboye, and O. S. Thomas with a mandate to bring the project to fruition.
At the end of the period allowed for expression of interest in the design of the project in November 2015, five reputable architectural firms made presentations to the project Committee which pruned the number to three after initial assessment.
Following my election as Chairman of the Association in June 2016, Mrs Yetunde Ilori assumed the chairmanship of NIA House Committee having been elected as Deputy Chairman of the Association at the Annual General Meeting. During her tenure as chairperson of the Committee, a lot of progress was made and upon her resignation as Deputy Chairperson of the Association, Mr. Tope Smart assumed chairmanship of the Committee.
In all these, one thing remained constant; the desire to have a befitting secretariat was not lost on the Council and at every step of the way, the Council had given the Committee the impetus to work unfettered.
I must recognise the commitment of the current project team comprising Messrs Tope Smart, Ganiyu Musa, Bode Akinboye and our indefatigable Director General, Mrs Yetunde Ilori whose hard work and dedication has brought us to the stage we are today.
The NIA Tower, as we have christened it, consists of an office complex on ground and 6 floors with an elevated car park on the 1st floor. The total floor area of the building is 974.83m2. The features of the building include: four office spaces on 2nd to 5th floors with total lettable area of 2,094m2 and multipurpose hall on the 6th floor with a lettable area of 214.74 m2. Other utilities are; elevators, transformer and generators, UPS, CCTV, fire protection and detection services, Borehole & Water treatment plant, Sewage treatment plant, landscaping and green areas.
The expected project duration is 30 months – the design phase is estimated to take 6 months while the construction phase is projected to last between 18-24months and in order to achieve this lofty target, the Committee has selected the cream of professionals in the building industry ably led by the Project Managers, The Architects’ Collective Ltd.
The other consultants are: Metamorphosis Hotshop (Architects), Miu – Beta Engineers (Electrical Engineers), Du – Franc & Partners Ltd (Quantity Surveyors); UF – A Consultants (Structural Engineers) and CCP (Mechanical Engineers). We have so much confidence in the team and believe very firmly that they will deliver a world class project and in line with the timelines set for the various deliverables.
Ladies and gentlemen, I will not end this speech without acknowledging the support of our past chairmen who have provided invaluable support and advice in our quest to achieve this project. We will continue to tap from your reservoir of knowledge and wise counsel even as we hope that you will continue to support us as we continue in this journey.
Once again, I welcome you to this brief foundation laying ceremony and wish you the very best of the day.
Thank you and God Bless.
EDDIE A. EFEKOHA