From left: Deputy President, Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers, Mr. Rotimi Edu, mni; President, Dr (Mrs) Bola Onigbogi; Managing Director, African Alliance Insurance, Mrs. Funmi Omo and Head, Administration, African Alliance. Mrs Alice Uwodi at the December 2019 Edition of NCRIB Members Evening in Lagos.
SPEECH DELIVERED BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE NIGERIAN COUNCIL OF REGISTERED INSURANCE BROKERS, DR (MRS) BOLA ONIGBOGI, FCIB AT THE DECEMBER EDITION OF THE NCRIB MEMBERS EVENING ON TUESDAY, DECE,BER 10, 2019
• The Managing Director, African Alliance Insurance Plc
• Management Team of African Alliance Insurance Plc
• Distinguished members of the NCRIB Governing Board,
• Our Students Guests
• Gentlemen of the Press,
• Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is my greatest delight to welcome you all to the last edition of the NCRIB Members Evening for the year 2019. This Evening is also quite significant to me because it is the first of its kind to be presided upon by me as the 20th President of the NCRIB. I must, therefore, specially express our profound thanks to African Alliance Insurance Plc for electing to host this strategic Evening.
As you know, the Members Evening has become one of the most robust platforms of professional and social interaction between Insurance Brokers and Underwriters in the market. During the event, the host Underwriter is often required to make indepth disclosures about the products and services of their company and later seek areas of further collaboration and support from Insurance Brokers whose position in the nation’s financial ecosystem cannot be over emphasized. It must be noted that the Council had resolved that invitation to host this important Evening would only be extended to companies that are professional and ethical in their conduct. Happily, African Alliance as we all know fits squarely into this criteria! It is most heartwarming that the company has continued to retain its relevance as one of the leading insurance companies in the market with its long term cutting edge skills in Life Assurance. Shortly, the Managing Director, Mrs Funmi Omo, would be here to give more insights into the vision and direction of the company.
MY POLICY THRUST
It would be recalled that on my assumption of office on Thursday, November 31st 2019 at the Transcorp Hilton, Abuja I did promise to run a progressive tenure that would be anchored on two pivots, namely: Image Management and Strategic Engagement. The choice of image management is not far-fetched, especially when we consider the remote image and reputation which Insurance Brokers have attracted in the scheme of things in the country. Everywhere you go, there is gross misconception about who a Broker is and what he does. It is often sickening to at best hear many mixing our identity up with that of the Stock Brokers. Under this administration, this must stop! We would be more strategic and aggressive in our projection of the insurance brokers brand across all geographical areas of the country by deploying indepth image making strategies. While this would be going on, we shall also devote good time to enhancing the capacity and competences of the Insurance Brokers themselves as well as forge effective collaboration with the Nigerian Insurers Association to remove all those “toxic traits” that may jeopardise attempts at projecting the industry and the Insurance Broking professionals in bad light. On strategic engagement, we are already on the threshold of that, as evidenced by the array of eminent personalities, cutting across almost all segments of the Nigerian society that attended my investiture. Our name must continue to resonate in all quarters where high level decisions are being made concerning the economy. With your cooperation, we shall not fail. Let me also say that this tenure would devote attention to professionalism, international relations, secretariat empowerment, mentoring and enhanced collaboration with the regulatory authorities.
It is quite heartwarming for me to state that within the short time of commencement of this tenure, a delegation of the Council under my leadership had visited the National Insurance Commission during which the Commission through the Ag. Commissioner, Mr Sunday Thomas gave an assurance of support for the Council. Among other things, the duration of license renewal has been extended and the exact period will be communicated shortly to members.
Also, the Council had made very insightful contributions to the Public Hearing on the Procurement Act review by the National Assembly during which we made convincing arguments on why Insurance Brokers must not be treated like contractors by making them pay hugely for insurance bids. Similarly, the Council made an impressionable appearance at the National Assembly during the Public Hearing on the review on the NHIS. All these have continued to put us in public consciousness and we shall not relent in engaging in these proactive dialogues under this administration.
MISINFORMATION BY THE FRSC
I regard it most important to use this medium to address a media report in The Nation newspaper of Wednesday, December 4, 2019, credited to the Corps Marshall of the Federal Road Safety Corps, Mr Boboye Oyeyemi. While addressing motorists and stakeholders at the joint stakeholders’ forum of Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission in Abuja recently, it was credited to the Corps Marshall that he accused Insurance Brokers “of taking advantage of the ignorance of travelers to deny them of compensations in the event of mishaps”. The Council views this comment as a clear exhibition of the ignorance and poor perception of the FRSC about who a Broker is and what his roles are in the insurance value chain. Insurance Brokers do not pay compensation to clients, and in this case, motorists. This type of misinformation has simply underscored the depth of ignorance even in high quarters about who we are and we have to quickly commence our engagements with these critical segments of our society, including the FRSC under my tenure as President.
CLOSURE OF NIGERIAN BORDERS
Permit me to join the view of the Council to the closure of the country’s borders with our neighnbouring countries. To all intents, the move is quite salutary as it would protect local production of goods and services. However, it is advised that the government should use the opportunity of the closure to encourage the acceleration of local capabilities so that our strides towards self-sufficiency would be guaranteed. It is a fact that no country could wholly depend on foreign countries for survival, but this must come with utmost sincerity on the part of the government.
As a critical stakeholder in the economy, I like to also use this medium to first commend the Federal Government for the enhancement of public transportation in Nigeria through the strengthening of the nation’s railway system. Aside from aiding commerce and reducing road accidents, the railway system will also create more jobs for Nigerians. However, the government is hereby implored to ensure that the huge investment in that sector is safeguarded through embrace of insurance. This, to us, is one of the prudent ways to protect this great national asset and guarantee that it endures.
May I specially use this medium once again to appreciate African Alliance Plc for hosting this event and also appreciate students of Aje Comprehensive High School for honouring our invitation under our mentoring vision. It’s an irony that I was a teacher in the same school until 1984, when I forayed into insurance as a career. It’s so nice to have you here!
To all our distinguished members that are here, I like to appreciate you and inform you that this administration would be open to advise and constructive engagements by members. It will also be all-inclusive. My self and the Management would operate with the TEAM acronym that says “Together Everyone Achieves More”!
I thank you once again for listening and I wish you all a blissful Christmas and a prosperous 2020.