ADDRESS BY THE CHAIRMAN, CHIEF (MRS) ONIKEPO AKANDE AT THE INVESTITURE OF MRS. FUNMI BABINGTON-ASHAYE AS THE 48TH PRESIDENT OF THE CHARTERED INSURANCE INSTITUTE OF NIGERIA HELD ON TUESDAY, 25TH JULY, 2017 AT CIVIC CENTRE, VICTORIA ISLAND, LAGOS
– His Excellency, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, Executive Governor of Lagos State
– His Excellency, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, Executive Governor of Ogun State
– His Royal Highness, Oba Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo, Alake of Egbaland
– Alhaji Mohammed Kari, Commissioner for Insurance
– Lady Isioma Chukwuma, President, Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria
– Past Presidents of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria
– Members of the Governing Council
– Chieftains of the Insurance Industry
– Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen.
I am humbled to be invited to be the Chairman at this great event in the history of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria. Looking around, I can see familiar faces of respectable and successful personalities who have made huge efforts to be here today. This is indeed a great occasion worthy of celebration by the Insurance Industry. I congratulate you all for the usual transition from one president to another without rancor since 1959 when the Institute was established. This robust succession structure which has ensured seamless transition is worthy of emulation.
Please permit me to applaud the Institute for this history making event where a female president will be handing over to another first female. A casual look at the list of the Institute’s Past Presidents showed that this is the female to female transition. I am usually elated whenever I witness occasions like this where female professionals are elected to assume the role of leadership. It serves as a reference point for the younger generation to believe in themselves and that gender is no barrier to being successful in all that they do.
Ladies and Gentlemen, today’s investiture of Mrs. Funmi Babington-Ashaye as the 48th President of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria and the 6th Female President is the result of a long and enduring journey during which her character, professional and leadership qualities have been assessed. I am sure she was not elected for gender balancing but because she has been found worthy to lead this important professional body. The mantle of leadership is an affirmation of your acceptability by your professional colleagues.
I congratulate you for this achievement and wish you God’s guidance in your endeavour to reposition your institute. It is my candid opinion that this is a call to duty. It is indeed a duty to change the attitude of the Nigerian populace to Insurance as a business. More would have to be done by Insurance practitioners to create a better and acceptable image for the Insurance Industry in Nigeria.
The Funmi I know is a goal getter and I have no doubt that she will perform beyond expectations. I accepted to be a part of this ceremony because I trust her ability to make a positive difference. Her tenure is a project that has a direction and is programmed to succeed.
I look forward to an Insurance Industry that will earn the respect insurance business enjoys in European Countries and a few other Countries in Africa. It saddens my heart that Insurance does not enjoy the patronage it deserves in Nigeria. Similarly the negligible contribution to the nations GDP should be a thing of concern to all Insurance practitioners. This is food for thought and I am sure it will be taken in good faith from my sincere self.
The Nigerian Business environment is faced with so many challenges all of which have made it so difficult for business to thrive. Business owners and managers are faced with the herculean task of sustaining their businesses for profit. While we appreciate the efforts of governments at various levels to
turnaround the economy, much is still expected to make life better for all and sundry.
My appeal to everyone is to put our country first in all that we do. The country needs us as much as we need the country. The difficult situation is not insurmountable if we all resolve to make the country a better place.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the room is full, the tables are set and we are all eager to witness this epoch making event, so let the programme begin in earnest. Please do have a wonderful evening.
Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Long live the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria.
Thank you and God Bless You.
Chief Mrs. Onikepo Akande, OON,CON
Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry