ADDRESS BY MR EDDIE EFEKOHA, PRESIDENT/CHAIRMAN OF COUNCIL, CHARTERED INSURANCE INSTITUTE OF NIGERIA (CIIN) DURING THE OFFICIAL OPENING OF THE 2019 INSURANCE PROFESSIONALS’ FORUM ON THURSDAY 17TH OCTOBER, 2019 AT PARK INN, ABEOKUTA, OGUN STATE.
Your Excellency, Executive Governor of Ogun State, Prince, Dr. Dapo Abiodun, MFR
The Alake & Paramount Ruler of Egbaland, His Royal Majesty, Oba Adedotun AremuGbadebo III
The Acting Commissioner for Insurance, Mr. O S Thomas
Deputy President of our Institute, Sir M O Oyegunle.
Elders of our Industry, Past Presidents and All Members of the CIIN Governing Council here present,
Heads of Trade Bodies, NIA, NCRIB, ILAN
Chairman and Members, Organising Committee of the 2019 Insurance Professionals’ Forum,
Distinguished Professional Colleagues & Delegates at this Forum
Gentlemen of the Press
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I welcome you all, distinguished professionals and stakeholders of our noble profession to the 28th edition of the annual Insurance professionals’ forum taking place here in Abeokuta. I feel privileged to have received your support throughout the past one year as President of this great Institute. As the wheels of my second tenure start to turn, I hope the Institute and I will still be granted your goodwill in all that we do, now and in the future.
Distinguished colleagues, the 2019 Insurance Professionals’ forum is a special one. This year the Institute celebrates 60 years of its existence as a platform for the development of manpower for the insurance industry. During the month of August, we held a weeklong celebration that was capped off with a glamorous Gala Night. I want to thank you all for your support and participation in the various events. and also to NAICOM, NIA, NCRIB and ILAN for their support.
The last time I attended a formal event of the Institute with Mr O S Thomas, he was the Deputy commissioner Technical. Today, he is the acting commissioner for insurance, Nigeria. As I welcome him to this year’s Insurance Professionals Forum, may I also on behalf of the Institute and its entire membership congratulate you, our dear friend, brother, a distinguished professional and a passionate manager of resources, on this appointment and to wish you God’s guidance in your discharge of the duties of this office. Yesterday, you joined my delegation to pay courtesy call on Kabiyesi, HRM theAlake and Paramount Ruler of Egbaland. One of the highlights of that visit was the royal prayer that may your acting capacity be confirmed soonest and we all chorused AMEN.
As one who has been part and parcel of the Commission and industry for years the challenges we face cannot therefore be strange to you. It is a shame that Africa’s biggest economy has a insurance penetration rate of about 0.3%. Much as the ongoing recapitalization is important, of equal importance is the need for market development.
I would like to acknowledge and appreciate in a special way, our hosts, the people ofOgun state under the leadership of the Governor, Prince, Dr. Dapo Abiodun, MFR. It is equally of utmost importance as visitors to this historic city, that we respect tradition and pay homage to his Royal Majesty, Oba Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo III, The Alake of Egbaland. May your reign continue to bring peace and prosperity among your people. Thank you for hosting us so warmly yesterday.
This year’s theme “The Digital Era: Implications for insurance Professionals brings to our doorsteps, a topic that will define the Insurance industry of today and the future.
The Digital era is here and Artificial Intelligence is playing a major role in its evolution. More organisations are embracing the idea of a single microchip processing multiple functions. Indeed, the future which Artificial Intelligence promises for insurance is a series of touchless processes from premium collection through to the entire claims process.
Big data is all around us, ready to be harnessed and put to use. As an industry, how are we leveraging on technology to simplify data analytics in order to:
➢ Make pricing of insurable risks more accurate
➢ Enhance self-servicing of customers through interactive websites
➢ Tweak sales practices in line with customer needs and wants in order to improve profitability
➢ Cost efficiency
➢ Maximize overall performance?
Importantly, Artificial Intelligence has never been less expensive or inaccessible. The question that arises however is: what is the role of the modern day insurance professional as this evolution plays out and what will be his when this evolution attains its full cycle?How will he/she stay relevant in an artificial intelligence driven society? As you ponder on these questions, let me restate that any professional who wants to remain relevant must see the opportunities in the threats posed by this digital era.
As we embrace digital we should not overlook the dangers posed by cybercrime around us. Cybercrime isn’t a myth, it is real. The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) stated that in 2017, Nigeria lost $500million dollars to cyber-attacks, a figure up by $50 million from the year before. Globally, these numbers are even bigger and it is projected that damage related to cyber-crime will hit $6trillion annually by 2021. This Trojan horse is a big threat to professionals. As managers of businesses, we must keep abreast of the dangers its poses to businesses. Except we control this threat, we may have no relevance in the nearest future; that is if we still have businesses to run.
The relevance of the younger generation in this era of artificial intelligence has been brought to the fore by the Institute. Making its debut in this forum, is a conversation strictly for the next generation. They will be talking about the expectations and roles of the youth as leaders of tomorrow in the insurance industry.
To round up the highlights of this forum, we will bring into focus, the importance of wellbeing in the workplace. Charles Colton’s quote “Take care of your body, it is the only place you have to live” is a point of reflection as to what this session will offer.
Ladies and gentlemen, even more stimulating are the connoisseurs that have beenassembled to do justice to the topics. There will be thoroughly enlightening sessions for everyone present and ultimately it will be an extraordinary experience for everyone involved.
Professional colleagues, your active participation in all the sessions of this forum remains the only way to guarantee that the efforts of the organizing committee in putting together a well packaged platform for knowledge sharing are not in vain. I must at this juncturecommend my brother, good friend, a past president of our Institute and the Chairman of the organizing committee, Mr Bola Temowo, and his team including the Secretariat for their efforts at ensuring the success of this programme.
Finally, distinguished Professionals, Ladies and Gentlemen, I welcome you to all, once again to the 2019 Insurance Professionals forum and wish you all, an unforgettable experience.
Thank you for your attention.
Eddie A. Efekoha FCII, FIIN
President and Chairman of Council
Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria