ADDRESS DELIVERED BY THE GOVERNOR OF OYO STATE, HIS EXCELLENCY,
SENATOR ABIOLA AJIMOBI, AT THE OPENING CEREMONY OF THE ANNUAL
EDUCATION SEMINAR OF THE CHARTERED INSURANCE INSTITUTE OF
NIGERIA, AT THE PREMIER HOTEL, IBADAN, OYO STATE, ON NOVEMBER 8,
I warmly welcome the Governing Council Members, Members of the Chartered
Insurance Institute of Nigeria, other distinguished guests and participants to the
Historic City of Ibadan and to our Pacesetter State. I also extend to you the goodwill
and appreciation of the government and the good people of Oyo State for the privilege
of hosting the 2018 edition of the Annual Education Seminar of your Institute.
The decision of the Institute to organize what can be termed continuous education or
refresher courses for its members is a highly commendable initiative given the
increasingly critical role the Insurance Practice plays in a world that has become highly
unpredictable. It is therefore comforting that the Institute has taken the task o~
regularly updating the skills and knowledge of insurance practitioners very seriously.
It is a generally acknowledged fact that to successfully chart a path to the future, one
must never lose sight of where one started from. It is therefore necessary to take a
brief excursion into the origin and evolution of the Insurance Industry in Nigeria.
Crediting History, in 1918, Africa and East Trade Companies inaugurated the Royal
Exchange Assurance Agency. This was the first insurance company in the history of
insurance in Nigeria. Other agencies that existed at the time included: BEWAC’s Legal
and General Assurance, Patterson Zochonis (PZ) Liverpool, and Law Union and Rock
The first insurance company indigenous to Nigeria was the African Insurance Company
Limited. At the time of Independence in 1960 there were twenty-five insurance
companies in Nigeria. Only four of these were owned by Nigerians. In 1961 the J.E.
Obande Commission report, which was a milestone in the history of insurance- ii’
Nigeria, was released. This led to the formation of the Nigerian Department of
Insurance as part of the Federal Ministry of Trade. This department was later
transferred to the Ministry of Finance. Gradually indigenous insurance companies
outnumbered the foreign insurance companies. Today, there are no fewer than 48
indigenous insurance companies in Nigeria.
In 1997, the National Insurance Commission was established. It was given the duty of
overseeing and organizing insurance in Nigeria. This body is functioning as the main
insura.nce regulator in Nigeria. The insurance industry in Nigeria has been steadily
growing ever since. By virtue of its roles, such as the provision of financial protection
for property, life, health and paying claims in case of death, loss, or damage, it is
evidently clear that the importance of the Insurance Industry to the socio-economic
growth and stability of any nation cannot be under-estimated.
Similarly, it is instructive to note that insurance is advantageous. It facilitates economic
growth by investing premium funds, protecting individuals, industry and commerce,
communities and nations from economic impact of losses, thus, removing the anxiety of
In developed countries, many people and many companies use insurance services. For
this reason, insurance is considered a major part of the service sector. Insurance also
forms a vital part of the economy. In these countries, people trust insurance and
therefore insure all assets in insurance companies. But in developing countries,
insurance has not developed yet to its full potentials. This is largely due to problems
such as misinformation about the industry and management deficiencies in insurance
companies. But chief among these reasons is distrust of people for insurance.
It is therefore imperative for the industry and the practitioners to take practical steps
towards addressing these issues. There is the compelling need for the Institute to deal
with the negative perception people have about insurance, some of which are being
fueled by primordial beliefs. You also need to be deliberate in delivering quality service …..
and superior value to your customers. I must add that adapting policies to the ever
changing situations of your respective publics will surely advance the profession and its
prospects nationwide. Also, high premium is a major disincentive for a lot of potential
customers. It is therefore necessary for the Institute to look for ways to introduce
minimal premiums in order to make insurance products less elitist and more inclusive;
the more the merrier! We must also not overlook the menace of quack and fraudulent
practitioners, who have given the industry a bad image.
For us in Oyo State, we appreciate the value of insurance and the need for our people
to enjoy a certain degree of protection against the vagaries and vicissitudes of life. Our
government also understands the critical role that quality education plays in ensurins
sustainable socio-economic development. In these regards, we have continued to make
huge investment in the development of the health and education sectors.
In health, our government launched a N50 billion Healthcare Endowment Fund for the
“restoration and transformation of government hospitals and health centres in Oyo
State”, on August 3, 2017. The measure adopted by the state government involved
fostering strong partnerships with the private sector, development partners and other
stakeholders in the health sector to pool resources, knowledge and skills that would
ultimately help in achieving the desired goal of improved access to affordable and high
quality healthcare service delivery across the state.
At the same time, we established a Health Insurance Scheme, first in the Country,
which is an innovative strategy designed to ensure unfettered access to healthcare
services by residents of the state, most especially the vulnerable class. This scheme,
which has recorded a huge success within a very short time, almost 60,000 subscribers
already signed-on, is a system where contributors’ funds are pooled to deal with the
financial burden of healthcare in times of need. In essence, each member is
appropriately served, not on the basis of his contribution, but according to his needs,
invariably guaranteeing access to quality medical care for everyone, regardless of social
or financial status.
In addition to these, we have also decided to set up a Global Micro Insurance Agency.
It will be private sector-driven and will further demonstrate our commitment to the
insurance concept and its attendant values.
What you should not fail to notice is how well we have adopted the basic insurance’
principles in the formulation of these policies. This clearly speaks to the potentials that
a well-developed and a well-harnessed insurance industry portend for any society. The
benefits are indeed innumerable.
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, I like to end this address by acknowledging our
government’s resolve to continue to demonstrate its well-acknowledged commitment’
to sustaining and improving our peace, safety, security policy programmes and
architecture, as well as our infrastructural rejuvenation, modernization and·
advancement which have made Oyo State one of the most popular investment
destinations in sub-Sahara Africa. Our goal is to create an increasingly conducive
environment for businesses to grow and thrive for the benefit and satisfaction of our
people. The contribution of your profession and indeed the insurance sector is most’
Thank you for your attention and gladly to the glory of the Almighty I have the honour
and privilege to declare your annual education seminar open.
Governor, Oyo State.