SPEECH DELIVERED BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE NIGERIAN COUNCIL OF REGISTERED INSURANCE BROKERS, DR (MRS.) BOLA ONIGBOGI, FCIB, AT THE JULY 2021 EDITION OF NCRIB MEMBERS’ EVENING HELD ON TUESDAY, JULY 6, 2021 IN LAGOS
• Distinguished Members of the NCRIB Governing Board,
• Management team of Heirs Insurance and Heirs Life
• Our distinguished Guest Speaker, Mr. George Onekhena
• All our guests here present
• Gentlemen of the Press
• Ladies and Gentlemen
It is my honour to welcome you to the July edition of NCRIB Members’ Evening which is being hosted by the duo of Heirs Insurance and Heirs Life. Permit me to appreciate your overwhelming attendance at Council’s functions since I became the President/Chairman Governing Board of our Council. I was even more overwhelmed to have such an overwhelming presence of members at the recently held CEOs’ Retreat held in Ilesa, Osun State against all odds. This has further boosted my confidence that our highlighted vision and aspiration for a profession that would outlive our generation and become more visible is on course.
May I use this medium to appeal to colleagues, who are still maintaining apathy towards Council’s activities to have a change of heart as we can only survive through constant bonding and exchange of ideas on a continual basis. It is worthy to note that the Council’s bi-monthly Members’ Evening, a platform for interaction between Insurance Brokers and leading Underwriters in the market, has metamorphosed to an event that Underwriters now jostle to host; even companies outside our industry are willing to proudly identify with us by sponsoring this Evening. It therefore behooves us to complement the evening with our continuous attendance as this would help its sustenance. I need less to inform you that your attendance at the meeting is part of your MCPD points. May I inform you that Members’ attendance via Zoom is noted for proper compilation for reference purpose. I therefore urge you, in our collective interest to join the progressive initiatives of this leadership team to build a virile Industry.
I specially welcome the Management team of Heirs Insurance Plc ably led here today by its Acting Managing Director/CEO, Dr. (Mrs.) Adaobi Nwakuche and Heirs Life ably led by its Managing Director/CEO, Mr. Niyi Onifade. I have no iota of doubt in my mind that Heirs Insurance and Heirs Life are companies to watch out in our market. A critical examination of your workforce and your enthusiasm to host this Members’ Evening at a time like this is a pointer to a greater business exploit you are poised to accomplish.
The two companies had again etched their names indelibly on the mind of Insurance Brokers who incidentally control the largest chunk of business in the industry. I can only assure you that going forward; your business would never remain the same. Shortly, you would be called upon to address this auspicious gathering, while I guarantee you for your endorsement by my professional colleagues.
May I also use this opportunity to welcome into our midst; a former Deputy Commissioner for Insurance, (finance and Administration) and now a highly sought after resource person, Mr. George Onakhena who will be taking us through a short lecture on “Sustainable Financial Fitness in an age of the Unthinkable” . Shortly, Mr. Onakhena will address us and I hope his lecture would add value to us as individuals and professionals.
VISIT TO NIGERIAN VICE PRESIDENT, PROF YEMI OSINBAJO.
I am most delighted to inform you that just last week Monday, precisely, June 28, 2021, I led a delegation of some Governing Board Members on a courtesy visit to the nation’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, GCFR, in Abuja. It is my utmost pleasure to inform you that our meeting with the Vice President was a successful one where we were able to lay before him, some of the industry’s challenges. We used the opportunity to solicit for his support to advance our course of making Insurance part of government priorities, especially, in urging Ministries, Departments and Agencies to make adequate provision for insurance in their yearly budgets. We also used the opportunity to hint him on the progress so far on the ongoing Insurance Consolidated Bill at the National Assembly. The Vice President however highlighted the crucial roles of insurance Brokers in the on-going revitalization of the nation’s economy. Our visit to the number two citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is in partial fulfillment of this administration’s Thrust of Office which centered on Strategic Engagement to open more vista of business for members of this Council. Once again, I promise to stop at nothing to ensure that our Council becomes an indispensible entity in insurance value chain. We are not relenting on our oars; we will still forge ahead and ensure that no insurance policy will be placed without the input of an insurance broker. I am convinced beyond limit that until the public understand fully the roles of Insurance Brokers, the allegation of nonpayment of claims and other consequential image challenges in the industry would remain.
EXPULSION OF SOME INSURANCE COMPANIES BY NIA
It was quite unfortunate that recently, the Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA) published in a half page advert the expulsion of three insurance Companies, namely, Industrial and General Insurance Co. Limited; Niger Insurance Plc and Standard Alliance Insurance Plc. According to NIA, the affected companies failed to meet their obligations to policy holders. It was so disheartening that the affected companies were once giants of the industry, contributing immensely to the growth of Nigeria insurance industry. This issue became subject of discussion on our platforms, not only to x-ray the implication of such advert on the image of the industry but to as well consider the implication on members who have one business or the other with the companies. As a proactive Council, we like to urge members to always critically examine the viability of any underwriting firm before placing business with them. This is because, in recent time, there are allegations involving nonpayment of claims as low as one thousand USD since 2019. It distressing that in order to save the face of the industry, some Brokers have had to pay their clients. Our Investigation Committee is inundated with complains of nonpayment of claims. In order to forestall further experiences, I like to appeal that Brokers do their proper investigations.
NCRIB PUBLICATION OF ELIGIBLE MEMBERS:
One of our statutory responsibilities every year is to publish the names of all eligible members of the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers in National Dailies. I like to inform you that it is about the time for the Council to carry out this statutory obligation. Leveraging our past experiences, Brokers that failed to meet up with the requirements for the publication, often face lots of challenges in business due to the attendant negative image that non-inclusion attracts. I therefore urge you to regularize your membership status with the Secretariat, pay your subscription to merit the list. Delay may be dangerous!
I must not end my speech without reiterating my expression of thanks to our host-Heirs Insurance and Heir Life. You have demonstrated good spirit of comradeship and partnership with the Council and I have no reservation in announcing your companies as Brokers-Friendly Underwriters that are worth patronizing by our members. May the sun of this great company never grow less!
Once again I thank you all for listen as I wish everyone a delightful Evening.
BOLA ONIGBOGI, FCIB
PRESIDENT/CHAIRMAN GOVERNING BOARD