SPEECH DELIVERED BY THE PRESIDENT, NIGERIAN COUNCIL OF REGISTERED INSURANCE BROKERS (NCRIB), MR. KAYODE OKUNOREN, FCII, FIIN, FCIB, AT THE MAIDEN PRESS CONFERENCE HELD AT INSURANCE BROKERS HOUSE, YABA LAGOS

SPEECH DELIVERED BY THE PRESIDENT, NIGERIAN COUNCIL OF REGISTERED INSURANCE BROKERS (NCRIB), MR. KAYODE OKUNOREN, FCII, FIIN, FCIB, AT THE MAIDEN PRESS CONFERENCE HELD AT INSURANCE BROKERS HOUSE, YABA LAGOS, ON THURSDAY, JANUARY 21, 2016.
The Deputy President,

Other Governing Board Member here seated,
Professional Colleagues,

Gentlemen of the Press,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am most delighted to welcome and address you at this first Press Conference to be addressed by me since my assumption of office as the 18th President of the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers. Permit me to use this opportunity to say Happy New year to you all. It is my prayer that the good Lord will keep you and all yours beyond 2016.

I must first and foremost salute your positive reportage of the Insurance Industry over the years. It is on note that you have become an integral part of the Nigerian Insurance Industry contributing significant quota through your balance write-ups and reports to project the industry in good light. Also, permit me to use this medium to appreciate your support particularly by way of positive coverage of my investiture as the 18th President of the Council. Just like I said during the ceremony, I want to reaffirm my commitment to provide purposeful and quality leadership to The NCRIB.

As you are aware, this is a challenging time for the insurance industry in Nigeria, in view of the recession being witness in the economy, which is taking its toll on insurance like any other sector of the economy.

However, we share the optimism that the government under the leadership of President Mohammed Buhari (GCFR) will reverse the ugly situation through the enthronement of probity and accountability in governance as we are already witnessing. I wish to spare some thoughts for the present administration’s anti graft war.

It is no longer news that, Nigeria’s progress had been stultified by corruption and financial indiscipline and this has permeated the professions also.

I hereby commend the ‘war’ and advice that government should work urgently on legal framework for the institutionalisation of the anti corruption war, even after the exit of the present administration.

Also, the present administration should immediately commence on the conscientisation of Nigerians to re-create in the minds of the citizens the real virtues of honesty and transparency which was our hallmark many years past.

On the part of NCRIB, we will continue to cooperate with government in achieving this mandate as we reckon that there is no way insurance industry could grow in an environment with systematic corruption.

However, the question to ask is, what should be our focus as Brokers at a time like this? The onus should be on us to be creative and proactive in maximising the seemingly gloomy economy situation to our advantage. For instance, it is high time Operators began to look at policy direction of the government as partly enunciated in the draft budget, in the area of diversification of the economy.

The NCRIB under my leadership will ensure that all necessary strategic engagements are done to further enhance the growth of insurance in Nigeria, as well as increase the relevance of
Insurance Brokers

DELISTING OF BROKERS:
As you are aware, the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) recently advertised the names of 108 Brokers delisted over compliances issues. Out of the 108 Brokers, 21 of them are registered members of the Council. Suffice it to say that the NCRIB is not happy that any Operator in the market will continue to flout regulatory requirements as enshrined in the law.

However, the Council on my assumption of office, made a representation to NAICOM on this and sundry issues for which, as usual, we got assurance of support from the Commission.

Whilst we are still looking at opportunity to assist those with minor infractions by interceding for them in NAICOM, we have equally made this clear to our members that the regulatory environment of today requires more discipline than hitherto and that compliance issues must no longer be treated with levity.

On the other hand, we are appealing to NAICOM to always ensure sustenance of effective communication channels with the NCRIB in such a way that our members are notified in good times on any aspect of compliance in which they are on the path of erring and this could even be done through the Council in the spirit of the existing cordial relationship.

INSURANCE OF NATIONAL ASSETS:
There could not have been a better time to raise the issue of insurance of nation’s national assets than now, in view of the present administration’s disposition to prudence in management of the nation’s resources.

It is our take that inputs should be solicited from the insurance industry in the government’s economic policies. As it is today, many of the nation’s assets are uninsured by government through its ministries and agencies, despite the promulgation of the law on compulsory insurances.

We must not forget that aside from providing investible funds, insurance is one of the financial management strategies that must be factored into genuine economic revival development initiatives. In this vein, our Council wishes to commence a sensitisation campaign under the slogan, “National Risk Alert” to continually draw attention of government to its risk exposures. We passionately solicit your assistance through your respective medium.

THRUST OF OFFICE:
At my investiture in October, 2015, you will recall that I emphatically noted that in order to give proper direction to my tenure as President, I decided to code name this tenure “A Regime of Consolidation and Progress”.

This was articulated in a nine point agenda. God willing; we will pursue these with strong determination. Once again we enlist your support and encouragement for my successful tenure of office as I stand by my promise to I run an open door policy.

At this juncture, may I sincerely appreciate you once again for making out time to attend this press conference, in spite of your busy schedule and to further enlist your support and cooperation for a more robust insurance industry. Thank you and God bless.

Kayode Okunoren, FCII, FIIN, FCIB
President/Chairman Governing Board

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