ADDRESS BY MRS FUNMI BABINGTON-ASHAYE, PRESIDENT/CHAIRMAN OF COUNCIL, CHARTERED INSURANCE INSTITUTE OF NIGERIA (CIIN) AT A PRESS CONFERENCE HELD ON TUESDAY 21ST NOVEMBER, 2017 IN THE COUNCIL CHAMBER OF THE INSTITUTE.

CIIN President, Mrs Funmi Babington-Ashaye addressing Insurance correspondents during a Press Conference in the Institute’s Secretariat

ADDRESS BY MRS FUNMI BABINGTON-ASHAYE, PRESIDENT/CHAIRMAN OF COUNCIL, CHARTERED INSURANCE INSTITUTE OF NIGERIA (CIIN) AT A PRESS CONFERENCE HELD ON TUESDAY 21ST NOVEMBER, 2017 IN THE COUNCIL CHAMBER OF THE INSTITUTE.

Distinguished Members of the Institute’s Governing Council
Distinguished Members of the Press,
Ladies and Gentlemen

1. I am most delighted to welcome you all to this press conference organized by the governing Council to enable me present the stewardship report of my first quarter as the 47th President of our great Institute. As you are aware, I was installed and given the insignia of office as President at a very colourful and historic ceremony which took place on Tuesday, 25th July, 2017 at the Intercontinental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos.

2. Although I have interacted severally with many of you at one point or the other since my assumption of office, let me, once again, seize this opportunity to acknowledge and appreciate the unique role of the media in the success of my Investiture. The impact of your publicity build-up and post event reports were pervasive and profound. On behalf of the governing Council, I thank you all most sincerely for the invaluable support. We look forward to the sustenance of this mutually beneficial partnership throughout my tenure and beyond. Since my investiture, the Institute has made significant progress which I am delighted to bring to your esteemed attention.

3. As you are aware, the theme of my Presidential year is, “Insurance- Imperative for Education and Enlightenment”. The theme was strategically chosen to address the information gap that exists between the Insurance Profession/Industry and the insuring public. Our research findings show that many people are not aware of the importance and benefits of insurance to their families and businesses. Yet, Insurance comforts, protects and cares for you particularly in times of disaster. It provides a great succour when all else fails. Despite its usefulness, it is one strategic action that is last considered when people are making investment decisions or planning their family activities. It was against this background that we decided to address this information gap through public enlightenment and education. This theme has five key pillars as follows:
1. Regular Advocacy
2. Members’ Continuing Professional Development
3. Enhanced Insurance Awareness
4. Continued Efforts On Institute’s Buildings
5. Reorganisation Of The Secretariat

CIIN Deputy DG; Mrs. Uju Chukwu, CIIN DG; Mr. Tayo Borokini, CIIN Council Member; Mr. Wale Onaolapo, CIIN President,Mrs Funmi Babington-Ashaye, and CIIN Council Members Sir M.O Oyegunle and Mr. Jide Orimolade during a Press Briefing held by the CIIN President in Lagos.

1. Regular Advocacy
This initiative involves reaching out to key stakeholders, policy makers including top Government functionaries to persuade them to create an enabling environment for Insurance to thrive in their domains and also for them to embrace the Insurance philosophy. Pursuant to this, we have, within this first quarter of my presidency, paid courtesy calls on the Governors of Ogun, Oyo and Ondo States and received very reassuring and encouraging responses from these great leaders of thought. In the near future, we expect that these reassurances will result in more insurance activities in those states. In line with our programme, we intend, in the days and months ahead, to carry the advocacy to other stakeholders including players in the informal sector.
2. Enhanced Insurance Awareness
2.1 CIIN Monthly Newsletter
Without doubt, the creation of insurance awareness through enlightenment and education is one of the critical strategies for rekindling the interest of our stakeholders in the Industry’s offerings. This Press conference is one of the key strategies for achieving this objective. As one our partners, I invite you to assist us to publicise the benefits of insurance to stakeholders in the remotest part of the country. Also, as part of the quick wins and the dire need to inform our members of happenings in the Institute, Profession and the Economy, the Council under, my leadership, recently launched its CIIN Monthly Newsletter. Electronic copies of the August 2017 maiden edition, were emailed on 15th September, 2017 to all financial members of the Institute. I am pleased to report that the November, 2017 edition (which is the third edition of the E-Newsletter) has been published and circulated to members. With the E-Newsletter, many members are now more abreast of development within the Institute, profession, industry and the larger economy.

2.2 Catch Them Young
More strategically, we have taken the insurance awareness campaign to the youths, the leaders of tomorrow. Our desire is to catch them young and imbibe in their consciousness the crucial roles insurance plays in human endeavours. As part of this initiative, the Council has developed a roadmap to drive the Institute’s proposed partnership with the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC). Accordingly, the Institute has established contacts with the national headquarters of the NYSC, the Lagos, Ogun and Oyo state chapters to intimate them of the CIIN’s Catch-Them-Young Initiative. The pilot edition of the programme will kick-off at the Lagos state NYSC Camp during the November 2017 Orientation Exercise which starts today where a career talk will be organised for the benefit of Corps members. To facilitate continuous information dissemination, a CIIN Enquiry and Help Desk will be on ground throughout the duration of the orientation exercise. This initiative, which is designed to help attract young Nigerians into the insurance profession, will be replicated and sustained in other states of the Federation until it achieves a national spread.

2.3 Donation of Insurance Study Texts
To reinforce above measures, in September, 2017, I led a delegation of the Council to donate Insurance study texts published by our Institute to secondary schools in Abuja through the State Education Board of the Federal Capital Territory Authority. The Institute, in October, 2017, also distributed Insurance Textbooks to Secondary Schools in Oyo state through the Ministry of Education. Furthermore, complete sets of the CIIN professional course books were donated to tertiary institutions like The Polytechnic, Ibadan and Joseph Ayo Babalola University, Osun State during the period.

2.4 Establishment and Accreditation of Insurance Departments
A major commitment of the Institute is to provide the required assistance to Tertiary Institutions desirous of setting up Insurance Departments to enhance human capacity building in the industry. Such assistance will be in the areas of syllabus development, production of study materials, provision of manpower resources and any other assistance that may be required.

Pursuant to this, the Institute is presently working with Babcock University, Ilisan, Ogun State towards the establishment of a degree programme in Insurance in the school. A number of meetings have been held between leadership of both bodies to discuss the requirements and the curriculum of the new BSc Insurance Programme to be run by the University. A copy of the agreed Curriculum is presently been considered by the Senate of the University and thereafter, it will subsequently be sent to the Nigerian Universities Commission for approval. We are optimistic that the degree programme in Insurance will commence with the next academic session of the University.
2.5 Enhanced Membership Drive
We are presently on a drive to achieve an additional 3,000 Members for the Institute within the next one year. Pursuant to this, I led a delegation of the CIIN to visit the Commissioner for Insurance in Abuja on the 12th of September, 2017. After our deliberations, the Commission graciously promised to issue a guideline that will compel all staff of Insurance Institutions in Nigeria to register as members of CIIN. This will go a long way in achieving our set goal.

2.6 Seminar for Heads of Department of Insurance
To reinforce the above initiative, our Council recently organised a seminar for Heads of Department of Insurance Institutions in Nigeria during which, modalities for providing support to students offering Insurance in higher Institutions, to facilitate their qualification as professional insurers, were extensively discussed. We have received positive commitments from various institutions in this regard.

3.0 Members’ Continuing Professional Development
Insurance is a dynamic profession particularly because the risks it seeks to protect people from are always changing. For professional insurers to be able to provide the right technical support that will adequately meet the needs of stakeholders, they need to be regularly trained. Accordingly, during the period under review, we organized the 6th edition of the CIIN Breakfast Seminar Series on 26th September, 2017 in Lagos during which Mr. Remi Babalola, FCA, former Minister of State for Finance gave members insight into emerging issues in the industry and profession and how to address them. The Institute is presently taking steps to replicate this in Abuja in the first quarter of 2018.

3.1 Executive Master’s degree in Insurance and Risk
Furthermore, the Institute is presently working with the University of Lagos, to introduce an Executive Master’s Degree programme in Insurance and Risk Management which will be structured like the programme of Cass Business School (CBS), UK. On successful completion of the CBS Master programme in Insurance & Risk Management, for instance, its graduates are usually eligible to predetermined exemptions from both the CII UK and Nigeria qualifying examinations. This also facilitates the attainment of the Chartered Institute Advanced Diploma of both UK & Nigeria. Our desire is to replicate this programme in partnership with the University of Lagos for the benefit of our members. The University of Lagos Team in conjunction with the institute and Rector of the College of Insurance & Financial Studies are presently working on the content of the proposed MSc Risk Management and Insurance Programme. Also, a series of top level meetings are been held by all the key stakeholders to fashion out the best possible modalities for the programme.

3.2 Industry tour to Hong Kong
Insurance is a global profession. Accordingly, we are also exploring the possibility of alliances with technical partners with the opportunity to interface on global standards and best practices. In line with this, plans have reached an advanced stage for the Institute to embark on an industry tour to Hong Kong. Final modalities for the actualization of this tour are being worked out by the Institute’s Education committee. When plans are concluded, gentlemen of the Press would be duly informed.

4. Continued Efforts on Institute’s Buildings
Considerable progress has been made in our efforts to commence the construction work on the Institute’s Victoria Island head office building. I am delighted to inform you that all the necessary paperwork have been concluded, approvals have been obtained and adverts have been placed in newspapers for interested financiers and developers. We have also appointed consultants that will drive the different stages of the project. Proposals from interested financiers for the building project are presently being expected. When received, a transparent selection process will be conducted and contract awarded by the Council. We are putting in considerable efforts to make sure that these processes are expeditiously concluded.

4. Reorganisation Of The Secretariat
The Institute’s Governing Council is working on the restructuring and improved motivation for the Institute’s workforce. We find this expedient as the growth of the Institute depends majorly on a well-motivated and productive workforce. Very soon the Council will unfold its package in the hope that staff will reciprocate with greater productivity.

FORTHCOMING EVENT
5. 2018 IICC MEDIA RETREAT
Since the commencement of the Media Retreat, the initiative has continued to provide a veritable platform for reinforcing the beneficial relationship between our Profession/Industry and the media ably represented by the National Association of Insurance and Pensions Correspondents (NAIPCO). In order to further leverage this platform, the Insurance Industry Consultative Council (IICC) commenced the hosting of the Media Retreat on behalf of the Industry. I am persuaded that the IICC initiative will provide, not only an effective, efficient and all-inclusive information platform for the promotion of insurance education and awareness but also, it will set the profession and industry on the right path in the long term interest of all stakeholders. It will also help to strengthen the cordial relation between the esteemed members of the National Association of Insurance Correspondents and the profession/ industry. In view of this, I am delighted to inform you that the next edition of the Media Retreat would be held in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State in the first quarter 2018. The details of the Retreat will be communicated to you soon.
6. CONCLUSION
Distinguished members of the press, we have come a long way as partners in progress. This first quarter has been activity-driven and result-oriented. As we journey into the next quarter, I solicit, on behalf of Council, your unalloyed support as we steadily march towards our ultimate goal of significantly enhancing the contribution of insurance to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) through increased insurance education and awareness. I wish to assure you of the Institute’s commitment to sustain and strengthen the bond between the Institute and the Press. Together, we can make the much desired difference.

Once again, I thank you for honouring our invitation and look forward to your giving all the programmes and events of the Institute well-deserved publicity.

Thank you for your attention.

MRS. FUNMI BABINGTON-ASHAYE FCII, FIIN
President/Chairman of Council
CHARTERED INSURANCE INSTITUTE OF NIGERIA

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