From left: Past President, Institute of Loss Adjusters of Nigeria, Alhaji Femi Hassan and Registrar, Femi Tayo at the event.
PRESIDENT ALHAJI SHAMSIDEEN FEMI HASSAN’S ADDRESS TO THE 37TH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF THE INSTITUTE OF LOSS ADJUSTERS OF NIGERIA HELD ON 12TH DECEMBER, 2019
Let me start by expressing our deep condolences to the families of our departed members and spouse. In the course of the Year, we lost the wife of the immediate Past President, Mr. Ralph Opara, the Founder/CEO of Benevolent Loss Adjusters, Chief J. D. Olawoye, and most recently the Founder/CEO of Precision Loss Adjusters; a Past President, Chief J. A. Komolafe. A member firm – Professional Risk Surveyors also lost a staff, Mr.Nssien Edoho to the cold hand of death. May the gentle souls of all the departed members rest in peace; as I urge us all to please maintain a minute of silence in their honour.
When I assumed office of President/Chairman, Governing Council of the Institute of Loss Adjusters of Nigeria (ILAN) on 14th November, 2017 my primary objective was to build on the success achieved by my predecessors.
I am pleased to report at this this august gathering, that together with other members of the Governing Council, we have significantly expanded ILAN’s corporate relationship beyond its traditional frontiers and laid the foundation for potential benefits to our members in the nearest future.
Let me commend the Secretariat’s passionate drive which has been central to coordination, and very supportive to success of the Council’s activities and the Institute by extension.
At commencement of my tenure, a six-point agenda was the guiding principle of my administration:
To improve relationship with the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) and other stakeholders.
To increase visibility of the Institute and invariably that of members.
To enhance ILAN’s institutional professional corporate image.
To ensure continuous capacity building for ILAN members.
To ensure adherence to professional practice standards.
To encourage quality membership growth and
improvement of inter-personal relationships between members of the Institute.
To me, these objectives characterized a roadmap for sustenance of industry relationships and achievement of overall success for our great Institute and its members at large.
NATIONAL INSURANCE COMMISSION
I am delighted to inform members that ILAN was able to secure the confidence of the regulator and the fallout from this are:
1. The Oil and Gas claims and loss adjusting training program which NAICOM organized for members of ILAN. The cost of the capacity building program which involved international facilitators and resource persons was borne by the Commission. I believe our members benefitted immensely from the workshop. On our part, we decided to consolidate on the gains and mandated the Committee on Education to explore opportunities to build on the experience. We have consequently signed an MOU with the Centre For Petroleum, Energy Economics & Law (CPEEL) of University of Ibadan in respect of courses that will enhance the knowledge of our members in the high-tech area of Oil and Gas claims and survey.
2. Recently, NAICOM eventually acceded to our yearning to increase the tenure of operating licences issued to loss adjusters to two years. This is seen as a positive development that should stabilize the loss adjusting sector of the insurance industry.
NIGERIAN COUNCIL OF REGISTERED INSURANCE BROKERS (NCRIB)
On June 26th 2018 the President and council members paid a courtesy visit to the NCRIB. At the meeting ILAN President sought the assistance of members of the NCRIB in reducing the long list of coinsurers in some account with some insurance companies holding as low as 0.5% share with attendant difficulty being experienced in recovering loss adjusters’ fees and expenses incurred in course of the claim process; either because of the resultant small amount involved or the long list of coinsurers with majority of them in doubtful financials which has accumulated into huge unpaid debts over the years. In response, the then President of NCRIB, Mr. Sola Tinubu promised to convey our prayers to the larger body of insurance brokers with request for their cooperation in reducing the challenges so posed to the fortune of the adjusters.
NIGERIAN INSURERS ASSOCIATION (NIA)
The President and some members of ILAN Governing Council also met with members of the NIA Governing Council led by their Chairman, Mr. Tope Smart on 28th March, 2019. Matters of mutual interests were discussed and it afforded both parties the opportunity to highlight areas of dissatisfaction, with pledges to address observed shortcomings.
The immediate fallout of the meeting was an invitation to ILAN to be part of the organizing committee for Year 2020 African Insurance Organizations Conference (AIO) which will be held in Nigeria. We have since nominated two of our Council members, Pastor Ike Udobi and Mr. M. A. L. Akinwunmi to represent ILAN as members of the Conference Organizing Committee.
MANUFACTURERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA
On 19th March, 2019 the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) hosted ILAN President and some members of Council. The visit afforded an opportunity to increase ILAN visibility and facilitate positive interaction with representatives of the manufacturing sector who more often than not are recipients of our services. The management of MAN appreciated the visit and were glad to have ILAN provide them with improved knowledge of the role and derivable benefits of loss adjusters’ involvement in claims adjudication. The management of MAN requested for an opportunity to pay a return visit to ILAN. We are yet to facilitate the request hoping for a more conducive secretariat environment to host them.
LAGOS CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY
The Presidential team also visited the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry on 27th March, 2019. The meeting held with the President and Director General of LCCI was also intended to create improved relationship with members of the organized private sector and help to create awareness and understanding of the role of Loss Adjusters in the process of claims management. We were impressed to know that the management of LCCI had commendable understanding of the role and importance of Loss Adjusters in the economic space. Though this did not prevent them from also commenting on shortcomings they have observed on the part of some loss adjusters. Generally, the President of MAN expressed their willingness to sustain the relationship created by the visit requesting that ILAN take advantage of the trade fair platform to interact with the various LCCI groups which includes the Insurance sector group.
OTHER INDUSTRY ACTIVITIES
In addition to aforementioned visits; your President also participated actively in various insurance industry functions: NIA, NCRIB and that of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN) of which most of us are members. the participation have also helped improve on the visibility of our Institute in the industry and were well acknowledged by the various bodies. At the last council meeting of the CIIN I informed members of my imminent departure as the President of ILAN and seized the opportunity to introduce Mr. Reginald Egbuniwe as the incoming President of our great Institute. The Council was unanimous in co-opting my humble self into the Examination Committee of the Institute may be in appreciation of my commitment to course of the Institute. This I hope will provide our Institute representation during discussion that would follow submission and consideration of our two elective books into CIIN examination syllabuses.
REVAMP OF ILAN WEBSITE
As part of our strategy to improve visibility of the Institute and its members, the secretariat embarked on the revamp of our website. Today, we have upgraded the website to one that is more interactive and designed to be a veritable marketing tool. Please visit the website www.ilan.com.ng.
Corporate email accounts were also created as part of the revamp program which enables us interact corporately with organizations and individuals as should be expected of a professional organization.
NATIONAL INSURANCE CONFERENCE
The 2019 National Insurance Conference was attended by most of our members; and it was yet another success recorded by the insurance industry. ILAN apart from having members who were part of the Conference Planning Committee also contributed financially to the event which took place from 30th June – 7th July, 2019. There will not be an Insurance Conference in Year 2020 because of the upcoming AIO Conference which will be held in Nigeria next year.
COMMITTEE ACTIVITIES AND REPORTS
I commend Chairmen and members of the various standing committees for their respective efforts and commitment to responsibilities assigned to the committees which they superintend over. We have seen reports that indicated robust engagements with appreciable outcomes viz:
I am pleased to note that the two books which ILAN will be contributing towards CIIN examinations for would-be Loss Adjusters are due for submission to council this month and would be passed to the CIIN for further action. It is my hope that the two course books will be available to students in the October diet of the CIIN examinations in 2020.
INVESTIGATION AND DISCIPLINE AD-HOC COMMITTEE
The statuses of infractions reviewed in respect of complaints are as follows:
1. Integritas Loss Adjusters Vs International Loss Adjusters (W.A) has been resolved through a Presidential Resolution Initiative. The conclusion is that ILA was not indebted to Integritas. Integritas was advised to pursue its claims for fee payment with the underwriter, Linkage Assurance Plc if it so desires.
2. Insured (A. V. Gold Limited) Vs Integritas Loss Adjusters, was reviewed by an ad-hoc disciplinary committee set up by Council and the outcome revealed that Integritas Loss Adjusters breached professional ethics in the course of the assignment for which they were engaged by Universal Insurance. The firm was sanctioned as Council deemed appropriate.
Suffice to say that we are still constantly inundated by disturbing information about some of our members being involved in unwholesome dealings.
May I therefore advise all our members to refrain from actions that may bring our Institute into disrepute.
The committee received and considered a number of applications for ordinary, fellow and corporate membership of the Institute and that of the International Federation of Adjusting Association, London. Some of these have been concluded whilst further enquiries are being requested for others.
CONSTITUTION REVIEW/ILAN CHARTER
The above Committee submitted an abridged report of their activities during the out-going year, particularly the issue of tenure of the president was once again brought to fore at the last Emergency Council meeting held recently. The Committee alluded to the fact that the current two year tenure of the president without opportunity for re-election would not augur well for our Institute partly because of the small size of members eligible to occupy the position and the cost implication for the Institute. The Committee therefore suggested two terms of 2 years each for the president but no more than 4 years (i.e. option of re-election). However, Council approved 3 years without option of re-election for the position of the president with immediate effect beginning with the tenure of the incoming president. This new tenure for the office of the president of ILAN is hereby put forward before this august body for ratification.
With the resumption of the 9th Assembly, the Committee have been directed to re-open discussion with the legislature on the attainment of charter status for the Institute during this legislative year whilst at the same time being circumspect.
At the last Annual General Meeting, a complaint by Mr. Nwokedi with respect to his role in the Audit Committee was expected to have been brought to the attention of Council for review. However, probably due to oversight, this was not brought up for discussion. Going forward, we believe this will be appropriately handled by the incoming administration.
As we all know, committee work is always a continuous exercise. I urge consolidation of on-going efforts by all the committees. PENALTY FOR ABSENCE AT MEETINGS
A decision has been in place to penalize CEOs for non- attendance of CEO Meetings without notice of apology. I wish to report that there has been commendable compliance. I also wish to suggest that we extend the application of penalty to include members who also absent themselves from meeting with apology. In my view, this would help to improve attendance at meetings and the quality of contributions to issues as it has been found that those sent to represent the absenting Chief Executive (CEO) have not been able to fill the vacuum created by the absent boss. However, may I also ask the incoming administration to give consideration to CEOs that are absent on health ground and convey such indisposition to Council before the meeting date.
FURNISHING OF COUNCIL CHAMBERS
As a personal contribution to the Institute, I deemed it necessary to improve on existing furniture at our meeting room. This will no doubt enable the Institute accommodate members conveniently during meetings and other Institute’s activity such as training of our members and outsiders. OUTSTANDING MATTERS ILAN CHARTER
I challenged the Committee on Constitution Review and Charter with the responsibility of reopening discussions with the relevant National Committees of the 9th National Assembly. I believe this will be followed up by the Committee as the Council look forward to receiving their action plan in due course.
The current deplorable state of ILAN building have necessitated the involvement of a project manager by the Building Committee charged with the responsibility of determining the current state of the building and recommend remedial measures. The Committee has since submitted its report which is still receiving council attention.
However let me mention here that opinions vary on what should be done about providing a befitting and contemporary secretariat for the Institute. There are views expressed for renovation which may be very extensive as there are alternative views for relocation and sale of the current facility. I believe this is a matter for critical review because we certainly require a befitting secretariat that will add value to our corporate outlook. I therefore recommend to incoming Council to as a matter of urgency study the Building Committee report and take appropriate step on the project.
Your Council have intention to establish an e-library as one of the developmental projects of the Institute. The project sponsorship by NAICOM was being discussed but had not been finalized with the former Commissioner for Insurance before the end of his tenure.
As part of efforts to make the Secretariat conducive for meetings and more corporate in outlook, council considered procurement and installation of a diesel generator. Efforts were commenced to achieve this objective through initial donations and pledges by members of Council. However, the process was temporarily put on hold when it was considered that the generator project should be taken along as an integral aspect of the proposal to be presented to NAICOM under the e-library project. I hope this will be followed up.
In closing my address to this august body let me allude to the fact that we are a body, made up of people of diverse culture and character, but this fact nonetheless, we should adopt the things that bind us together even in diversity rather than in things that divide us.
It is on this note that I will like us all to ponder over an ancient Greek philosophy which I hope would touch our minds and guide our relationship as members of this great Institute. It states that there are always three kinds of people in any given society, the three-fold distinction has been noted and made by notable sociologists and public intellectuals and it was first identified and stated by supporters and founders of democracy in ancient Greece.
The Greeks, characterize the three different kinds of persons as:
1. The idiots – they are not necessarily mentally deficient but totally private, totally self-centred and totally selfish persons who are always out for personal gains and not public interest. They seek personal pleasure and treasure.
2. The tribe’s people – they do not necessarily belong to certain tribe but they are tribal and have a tribal mentality. They are not able to think beyond their small tribes or groups and have primary and ultimate allegiance to their tribe; their religion is tribalism. They are always afraid of things that are different or alien to them, always suspicious and fearful. They always deal with difficult people with force and violence because for them the ideal person is a warrior.
The ideal person – the ideal person is regarded as the citizen; not necessarily a legal or political status, but an idea or ideal of citizenship. A citizen is the person who has the skills and knowledge to live a public life, live a life of civility, a member of the commonwealth who strives for the common good. The citizen knows his/her rights but is also conscious of his/her responsibilities to the society. The citizens make up the civilized society because they settle their difference with civility so they produce a civilized society, one which truly lives up to the true meaning of society; society means friendship and friendliness.
Today let us all think deeply of the choice we prefer to make of the three kinds of persons that starkly face us today, idiots, tribe’s people or citizens. For me I chose to be a citizen just as I hope you will.
Finally, I want to most sincerely thank all our members for their cooperation and the opportunity given me to serve our great Institute and to my councillors for the support and cooperation extended to me in the last two years.
I wish you all a HAPPY CHRISTMAS and a FULFILING NEW YEAR in advance.
Shamsideen Femi Hassan
President/Chairman of Council