Insurance fraternity mourns Dr. Oladipo Bailey

Late Dr. Bailey

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Chuks Udo Okonta

The Insurance industry is in a state of mourning as the former Commissioner for Insurance, Dr. Oladipo Bailey passed on today.

Chief (Dr) Sir. Bailey was a London trained insurance professional of many years and a former Commissioner for Insurance. He held an honorary doctorate degree in Business Administration, which was awarded him in recognition of his immense contribution to the Insurance industry in Nigeria.

Chief Bailey was on the board of several organisations, among which are:
– Shepherds Insurance Brokers (Vice Chairman); Bailey Professional Training and Development Centre (Chairman); NICON Insurance Plc (Director) and Total Corporate Services Limited (Chairman)

A quintessential insurance technocrat, Chief Bailey served several professional bodies in the following capacities:
– Past President of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria and Council member for over 30 years; President & Chairman in Council of Institute of Loans & Risk; Management Council member – NCRIB; Founder, Past President and Grand Patron of RIMSON; Past Chairman – Association of Insurers and Reinsurers of Developing Countries and Association of Insurers Supervisory Authorities of Developing Countries

Chief Bailey was also a community leader and a Rotarian. He was Past District Governor, Rotary International District 9110 and Chairman, Council of District Governors in Nigeria.

He was a Knight of Saint Christopher and a recipient of many national merit awards.
He was happily married and blessed with children.

Deputy Commissioner for Insurance, Technical, Sunday Olorundare Thomas, said it is so sad to hear of Bailey’s death, noting that he was a good man, a motivator and someone who always wanted the best of others.

Assistant Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB), Tope Adaramola, in a tribute writes: Life is vain and the earlier we realise this as mortals the better. Like the flower of the grass we appear, blossom and then wither away.

The news of the demise of former Commissioner for Insurance, Chief Oladipupo Bailey who is also the Managing Director of Shepherd Insurance Brokers Limited came like a thunderbolt in the wind, particularly to the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers family.

Up till the day of his death, Chief Bailey, who is one of the Elders of the broking family had indicated his intention to attend the CEOs Retreat of the Council coming up from June 13-15, 2019 in TCC, Ogere, Ogun State. In his usual friendly and resolute approach, he had contacted the organisers of the Retreat to book him and reserve a space for him at the retreat. Sure, he would have made an impressionable impact, inspite of his indisposition and age, with profound input into the subject matter of discourse and how to move the industry forward if he had attended. Alas, news filtered in that he had breathed his last! What is life afterall.

Space and time may not permit one to give an extensive insight into the life of a man who appeared controversial to some, a gadfly to some but a friendly ally and proponent of progressive ideas to many. As Commissioner for Insurance, Chief Bailey’s tenure witnessed some progress based on his stoic belief in principles, inspite of the fact that many operators felt otherwise.

This materialized in the several battles that the industry had with operators under his tenure. For instance, the NIA and insurance companies would not forget in a hurry the recapitalization initiatives that saw many companies going under for a more solvent industry.

The Underwriters Body would also not forget in a hurry his fight for insurance professionalism in the headship of insurance companies, leading to the ouster of some MDs who had no professional certificates and by so doing throwing up many who had into headship of insurance companies.

As an insider, I know the NIA would not forget the attempt of the deceased in enforcing principles on the and the controversial proper custodian of the uninsured motor accidents fund leading to bitter litigation. NIA ingeniously used the money to buy its NIA House at 42, Saka Tinubu Street, Victoria Island, Lagos.

A highly principled man, Chief Bailey believed that objectivity must be a virtue that must be upheld in any position one finds him or herself. The broking fraternity had some point had disagreement with NAICOM, especially on the NCRIB Act and the case had to go as far as the apex court where the Council won.

All these, Chief Bailey made all who cared to listen realise was nothing personal but meant to give us an orderly society. He later absolved himself seamlessly into the Council as a Broker after his tenure as Commissioner and contributed his part until he breathe his last. Definitely, Chief Bailey is a generator of ideas and a restless “intellectual inventor”.

The founding of such institutions as Risk Managers Society of Nigeria (RIMSON), the Professional Excellence Foundation( PEFON), Abuja Jazz Club are to his ingenious creation. The Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria of which he was one time President would sorely miss his pioneering roles and initiatives.

He founded the now highly profiled Professionals Forum, the popular Miss Insurance Dance and several other initiatives. A deep thinker and prolific talker, there is no dull moment around him. He has the capability to regale with legendary tales and stories that would remain etched in one’s memory for a long time.

This writer remembers his wise saying that “every man in life must keep aspiring to inspire before he expires”! He was highly seasoned and represented one of the dying testimonials of the Africa’s finest tradition of culture and native intelligence. Chief Bailey fought a great fight with grinding indisposition and faced some vicissitudes common to great men towards the end of his life. But in all these, he never really allowed them to cast him down. An attribute of a great man of faith.

It is quite sad that with the demise of Chief Bailey, the firmament of our national economy, tradition and most importantly, the insurance industry has again been robbed of another iroko tree that would be quite difficult to replace for a long time to come.

The President of our Council, Mr Shola Tinubu, FCIB, Governing Board and entire members rue his departure and use this medium to wish those the deceased left behind the fortitude to bear his painful exit. Adieu!

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