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SPEECH DELIVERED BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE NIGERIAN COUNCIL OF REGISTERED INSURANCE BROKERS, MR. EMMANUEL KAYODE OKUNOREN, FIIN, FCIB AT THE FEBRAURY 2017 EDITION OF NCRIB MEMBERS’ EVENING

SPEECH DELIVERED BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE NIGERIAN COUNCIL OF REGISTERED INSURANCE BROKERS, MR. EMMANUEL KAYODE OKUNOREN, FIIN, FCIB AT THE FEBRAURY 2017 EDITION OF NCRIB MEMBERS’ EVENING HELD ON TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2017 IN LAGOS.

The Management Team of Linkage Assurance Plc,
Distinguished members of the NCRIB Governing Board
Our guest, Mr. AdeoluwaOkunade of the Bond FM 92.9
Other Members and Guests
Gentlemen of the Press
Ladies and Gentlemen
It is my pleasure to welcome you to the first edition of NCRIB Members’ Evening in 2017. It is most heartwarming that Linkage Assurance Plc. has opted to host this great event which is the first edition this year. I want to appreciate the management of Linkage Assurance for this discretion, which assuredly would change the fortune of the company most significantly. I must not forget to congratulate the new Managing Director of the company, Dr. Pius Apere for mounting the saddle. I have no iota of doubt that Dr Apere will take Linkage to the heights, considering his high level exposure, professionalism and amenability to good ideas and suggestions. The NCRIB wish you good wisdom and great success in office.

It must also not elude me to appreciate our Media Guest, Mr AdeoluwaOkunade, who is the anchor man on “Bi Ona Se ri” on toast Radio Station, Bond FM (92.9), Lagos. Though running the programme in Yoruba language, Mr. Okunade has distinguished himself as a “road traffic evangelist” whose programme could be said to be a significant part of the revolutionary stories on the Lagos roads. Since motoring and insurance are inseparable, Mr. Okunade’s appearance today is another chapter in the bonding of the insurance industry with strategic stakeholders in the society, for insurance growth.

Please permit me to note that the bi-monthly Members’ Evening has remained a cherished avenue for robust interaction between insurance brokers and leading underwriters in the market. The pivotal place of this event is clearly evident in the hordes of companies striving to secure the sponsorship slot. The event has definitely become renowned for throwing issues that have continued to make our professional body relevant in the scheme of things in the country.

NATIONAL ISSUES

GOVERNMENT’S STRIDES ON EASE OF DOING BUSINESS
This provides an auspicious platform for our Council to appreciate efforts currently being put in place by the Federal Government in removing all critical bottlenecks and bureaucratic restraints to doing business in Nigeria. Through the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) , headed by the Vice President, Professor YemiOsinbajo, the present administration has vocalized its intention to make Nigeria an easy investment haven, as part of the ways to get out of the current economic challenges being faced by the country. It is most heartwarming that PEBEC has identified seven key reform areas notably; starting business,; dealing with construction permits; paying taxes and registering properties. It is the believe of the Council that with diligent commitment of the government to taking these identified barriers, the nation would soon be reflated. However, it must also be pointed that noble objectives like PEBEC should also factor in the insurance sector, considering its roles in commerce and risk mitigation, especially for new businesses.
Furthermore, our Council would like to commend the government for monetary policies being put in place, leading to Naira appreciation in the last couple of days. It is a known fact that being primarily a consuming nation, Nigeria’s fortune and daily living of the citizens are affected by the rate of currency exchange as we have witnessed for sometime now. But while it is commendable that the naira is being shored up, the government must continue to accelerate steps towards taking the country out of the ignoble comity of consuming nations to producing nation. Countries that hold the ace in the world today are those who could produce for export to other countries, rather than be a consuming nation. Consequently, all encumbrances to entrepreneurship and home grown business survival must be removed.

It is our hope also that with the passage and full implementation of the 2017 National Budget, there is likelihood that the end of recession is in view, with diligence adherence to implementation of provisions for capital projects as provided for in the budget.

CORPORATE VISIBILITY PROJECT

At the last Annual General Meeting of our Council, it was reported that the Council has continued to pursue its Corporate Visibility project. The aim of this project is to create public awareness for Insurance Brokering Business by enhancing its visibility. It is our aim to make Insurance Brokering a house hold name through many adopted means of awareness creation. After its approval at the AGM, may I report that the project has commenced in earnest. As part of our efforts to create more values for our Council, we have renewed our sponsorship of “Business Today” on Radio One 103.5 FM, Lagos from the stable of Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria. It is a 30-minutes magazine programme that highlights events and emerging developments in business and the economy generally with special focus on insurance and insurance brokers.
Aside this, the Council has appeared on many other radio station which include the famous Traffic Radio 96.1 FM, Kiss FM 98.9 and Naija FM. Plans are in offing for the Council’s jingle to also be aired across the six geo-political zones in Nigeria on selected radio stations, including Abuja. Before the end of first quarter of this year, we will certainly extend our reach to other geopolitical zones. In addition to this, we have our colouradvert strip that runs concurrently in the “Punch Newspapers” every Mondays. We also have in our plans, production of Exercise Books, to be distributed to over 20,000 school pupils across the Country, in addition to several corporate social responsibility gestures. At the end, it is our expectation that no one will transact insurance business in Nigeria without the involvement of Insurance Brokers and for this we crave your continuous support for the actualization of this lofty project.

INTERNATIONAL TRIP

Baring all unforeseen circumstances, our delegates will be heading to Maslow Hotel, Sandton in Johannesburg, South Africa on March 7, 2017 for the 3rd Annual African Insurance Forum. The Forum which will attract delegates from all over the African Countries and beyond will also have in attendance some members of the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers.For the first time in recent past, the President of our Council had been invited as one of the guest speakers at the forum. This, to me, is a great honour done to our Counciland It further confirms the fact that Nigerian Insurance Brokers have become a force to reckon with in Africa.

In the same vein, may I also bring to your notice the 44th Conference and Annual General Assembly of the African Insurance Organisation will take place in Kampala, Uganda from the 21st -24th May, 2017, while BIBA 2017 Conference and Exhibition is scheduled to hold in Manchester, UK between May 10th and 11th, 2017. I like to implore you all to avail these opportunities to enhance your international business relationships. These trips will definitely be ad mix of pleasure and professional enrichment for delegates.

CONCLUSION
Once again, I thank our host, Linkage Assurance for hosting this event and assure that with this gesture, the company has qualified itself as one of the Brokers-Friendly Insurance Companies in Nigeria, with its positive effects on the company’s business fortune in due course.
I thank you all for your presence and attention.

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