TEXT OF SPEECH DELIVERED BY ALHAJI FEMI HASSAN, ACII, AIIN, FILA,
CHAIRMAN, PLANNING COMMITTEE FOR THE 2018 NATIONAL INSURANCE CONFERENCE, AT THE PRESS BRIEFING HELD AT THE CHARTERED INSURANCE INSTITUTE OF NIGERIA, 27 LAGOS STREET, EBUTE METTA ON MONDAY, JUNE 25, 2018
•Members of the Planning Committee of the National Insurance Conference (NIC), here present.
•Distinguished Gentlemen of the Press.
It is my pleasure to welcome you all to this Media Briefing which is meant to apprise you with activities preparatory to the 2018 National Insurance Conference holding from Sunday July 8th – 10th 2018 at the Congress Hall of the Transcorp Hilton, Abuja.
May I use this opportunity to appreciate the media for the support which you have continued to render towards effective reportage of insurance events and particularly, previous editions of the National Insurance Conference.
This edition of the conference is the fourth in the series to be held since its conception by the Insurance Industry Consultative Council (IICC) which is the umbrella organization for all insurance institutions in Nigeria. It is made up of the regulatory body for all insurance practice in Nigeria, National Insurance Commission (NAICOM); The professional body for insurance practitioners, Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN); The three trade associations: for underwriters, Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA); brokers, Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB); and loss adjusters, Institute of Loss Adjusters of Nigeria (ILAN).
The IICC which was inaugurated on the 13th of August 2013 has been the unifying voice and point of reference for everything insurance in Nigeria. The National Insurance Conference is one of those established channels aimed at fostering intellectual and professional development of insurance practitioners and further creating a platform for networking and exchange of ideas between industry operators and critical stakeholders in the nation’s economy.
It is most heartwarming that the 2018 Conference is being organized to further underscore the commitment of the Nigerian Insurance Industry to continually upscale the knowledge of insurance operators, other professionals in the financial services sector as well as other stakeholders; about contemporary dynamics in the economic development of the country. The Conference would also highlight the enabling roles of the insurance industry in achieving financial inclusion and by so doing, accelerate its contributions to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product.
The fact that access to financial services is concentrated in urban areas has limited the people from the rural areas from contributing maximally to growth and development of the nation’s economy. It is therefore instructive to state that the theme of this year’s Conference: INSURANCE INDUSTRY AND FINANCIAL INCLUSION is quite apt, in view of the policy direction of government towards including all segments of the society within the financial safety net.
As at 2012, according to a survey by the Enhancing Financial Innovation and Access (EFInA), about 39.7% or 34.9 million adult Nigerians were excluded from financial services.
In order to reduce the number of the excluded population, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on behalf of the Federal Government launched the National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) in October 2012. The Strategy focuses on interventions that will increase access to: payments, savings, credit, remittances, pension, insurance; under affordable terms and conditions
The overall aim is to empower people, promote savings, increase the level of investment by diverse economic groups, catalyse increased productivity, improve income, reduce poverty and also promote a sound, safe, vibrant and stable financial system.
The Strategy recognizes various stakeholders and apportioned roles and responsibilities to them on the basis of their comparative advantage.
To the insurance industry, financial inclusion should be the pursuit of making insurance services accessible at affordable costs to all individuals and businesses irrespective of net worth and size respectively. And that Financial inclusion strives to address and proffer solutions to the constraints that exclude people from participating in the financial sector.
The financial sector in general; is continuously coming up with new and seamless ways to provide services to the global population. The increase in use of technology in the financial industry seems to have filled the void of inaccessibility to financial services. The advent of tech companies has created a way for all entities to have access to all financial tools and services at reasonable costs. Examples of developments that have increasingly been embraced by financial users include crowd funding, robo-advisors, digital payments, peer-to-peer (P2P) or social lending, and insurance telematics. While these innovative services have disrupted the financial world by including more participants in the money sector, there is still an untapped portion of the world population that remains unbanked or underbanked, uninsured or underinsured.
It is noteworthy that the selection of the Conference theme is fitting into the Insurance Industry Consultative Council’s plans in deepening reforms, completing and implementing pending initiatives, engaging with the public and validating completed reforms that would kick off medium term reforms.
It is a delight to note that the Vice President, His Excellency, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, GCON is expected to declare the event open while the Hon. Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun will give a Keynote address, with the Commissioner for Insurance, Alhaji Mohammed Kari as the Chief Host. Suffice it to state that the Planning Committee of the Conference is parading an array of highly resourceful speakers to do justice to the subject of discourse at the event. With the choice of Mr. Jim Ovia, MFR, CON, Founder/Chairman of Zenith Bank Plc discussing the theme paper,
In view of the topical nature of the theme, the Deputy Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Miss Aishah Ahmad, (Financial System Stability), is expected to be the Chairman of session while a team of seasoned discussants, notably Mrs. Temitope Akin-Fadeyi, Head, Financial Inclusion Secretariat, Central Bank of Nigeria, and Mr. Olu Okunnu of Old Mutual and Dr. Ndubisi Chinedu would lend their dependable voices.
Similarly, the sub theme: “Leveraging Technology for Financial Inclusion” would be most rewarding. Aside from the enrichment that would be brought on the subject by the Managing Director of SystemSpecs Limited, Mr. John Obaro, Dr. Segun Aina, Chairman of Fintech Associates will Chair the session. It is hoped that he would bring to the discussion enriched knowledge and his vast experience.
In a bid to give the insurance industry its desired space in the conference, the theme: “Road Map For The Insurance Industry” is also being slated for presentation by Mr. George Onekhena, Deputy Commissioner for Finance & Administration, National Insurance Commission, with support from the President, Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria, Mrs. Funmi Babington-Ashaye, the In-coming Chairman, Nigerian Insurers Association, Mr. Tope Smart, President, Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers, Mr. Shola Tinubu and President, Institute of Loss Adjusters of Nigeria, Alhaji Femi Hassan. The paper would be chaired by Mrs. Bisi Lamikanra, of KPMG,
There would also be Breakout Session, where issues of the moment; such as Block Chain Disruption to the Insurance Industry, Artificial Intelligence and Personal Financial Health Plan as a means to Enhancing Financial Inclusion in Insurance Industry would be discussed. The topics which would be anchored by specialists in these areas would provide participants the opportunity to learn about the challenges posed and emerging opportunities in these fields.
I cannot end my address without noting the desire of the Conference Planning Committee to have a wide spectrum of delegates across all sectors of the nation’s economy in attendance. Towards this end, invitations have been extended to industry operators, maritime, shipping, banking, energy sectors, the organized private sector and manufacturing to attend the event.
Once again, I appreciate you all for your presence and use this medium to solicit your ever ready and invaluable assistance in giving maximum pre and post event coverage of the Conference.
ALHAJI FEMI HASSAN, ACII, AIIN, FILA,
Chairman, Planning Committee (NIC)