REMARKS BY THE COMMISSIONER FOR INSURANCE, Mr. O S. THOMAS AT THE INVESTITURE OF Sir. MUFTAU OYEGUNLE AS THE 50TH PRESIDENT OF THE CHARTERED INSURANCE INSTITUTE OF NIGERIA (CIIN) HELD AT CIVIC CENTRE, OZUMBA MBADIWE, VICTORIA ISLAND, LAGOS STATE ON JULY 21, 2020.
It gives me great pleasure to join other members of the noble profession this morning on the investiture of Sir Muftau Oyegunle as the 50th President of our prestigious Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria, CIIN. I warmly welcome you all to this august occasion to herald the coming of a new team to pilot the affairs of the Institute in the next two years.
The CIIN remains the most unifying factor that binds us together as insurance professionals; at such, the position of President of the Institute is one of the most revered as far as insurance practice in Nigeria is concerned. As the custodian of our values and entrencher of ethical behaviour in the practice, a herculean task certainly awaits whoever emerges the president of the Institute at any particular time not to mention such a challenging time as we are currently experiencing.
On this premise, I want to specially appreciate the outgoing President of the Institute, Mr. Eddie Efekoha for all his efforts at moving the Institute to the level it is today despite the challenges. I salute his doggedness, commitments and passion for the profession; not forgetting also the professional advice, contributions, support and cooperation the Commission enjoyed during his leadership. Mr. Efekoha, I wish you and your team well in all your positive and progressive endeavours.
In the same breath, l welcome on board Sir. Muftau Oyegunle, the incoming President and Chairman in Council of the Institute. Sir Oyegunle, as we all know is one of the visible practitioners and committedelders in this industry. He is indeed, an insurance practitioner of high repute. Mr. Oyegunle has had a long history with the Institute, working with different presidents at different times as member of the Council. We expect that as you receive the mantle of leadership which symbolises power and authority in determining standard and practice of our profession, you will bring the experience garnered over the years to bear in the discharge of your new responsibility.
My dear insurance professionals and practitioners, let us be aware that the advent of the prevailing Corona Virus pandemic COVID-19 has presented a new challenge to the insurance sector. Thus, a paradigm shift from the usual way of practice has become inevitable. What this means in essence is that insurance practitioners must learn to inculcate the new world order brought about by the COVID-19 experience. This has become an imperative rather than an option.
Suffice it to say that critical times require critical measures. The challenges before the Institute during and post COVID-19 are enormous; how you do your marketing for new members, how you run your education seminars, where and how you conduct your examinations for prospective members will all be affected by the prevailing circumstance. I therefore urge the new leadership to take these challenges into serious consideration in developing new curriculum for the Institute.
Ladies and gentlemen, more than ever before the Institute must embrace technology as one of its key drivers for development. The Institute should be prepared to digitalize its processes, procedures and systems in order to make its operations seamless and real time. As a professional Institute, your communication and engagement with your stakeholders cannot be encumbered by disruption to physical interactions. I want to challenge the new leadership of the institute to make this a priority in its agenda. Of course, training and deliberate exposure of existing members of the institute to new technology would also go a long way in reshaping their perspectives.
Public perception of insurance business still remains very low largely due to the unacceptable professional conduct of very few of our members. The Institute has a pivotal role to play in rebranding and reshaping the ethical behaviour of members in order to ensure that every member is a true representative of the core values the insurance profession stands for.
The Commission on its part is committed to development of insurance across all strata and would continue to do more to ensure inclusive development of insurance. It is no longer news that the Commission is committing huge resources to actuarial development in the country in collaboration with the institute through the College of Insurance and Financial Management though the entire process has been affected by advent of the COVID 19. Let me assure the incoming President and his team that the Commission will continue to collaborate and support the Institute where possible, for the attainment of quality education, training and improved ethical behaviour of practitioners.
Still on education, the Commission’s concern for specialised regulators’ training has prompted the inception of the process of establishing the NAICOM Academy which will not only serve the training need of the Commission but also those of other regulators in the West African sub region. I assure the institute that the academy will not compete but complement the activities of the institute for the benefits of insurance business and insurance profession.
Let me remind us all that to achieve the objectives of the founding fathers of the Institute, greater commitment and collaboration is required of us. The institute has come thus far due to the sacrifices and selflessness of all its past leaders and members of the Council. We can only improve on this and take it to the next level. The future of the profession is very bright and the potentials are enormous, we only need to fill the gaps.
In conclusion, let me once again congratulate the outgoing president for his achievements and wish the incoming president a successful tenure in office as he receives the mantle of leadership of the Institute today.
I thank you all for listening.
O. S. Thomas
Commissioner for Insurance