SPEECH DELIVERED BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE NIGERIAN COUNCIL OF REGISTERED INSURANCE BROKERS, MR. ROTIMI EDU, mni, FCIB AT THE DECEMBER 2021 EDITION OF MEMBERS’ EVENING OF THE COUNCIL HELD ON TUESDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2021
• Governing Board Members (here present)
• Managing Director of Enterprise Life Assurance Company, Mrs. Funmi Omo and other Management Staff of the Company
• My distinguished colleagues
• Gentlemen of the Press
• Ladies and Gentlemen
It is my great delight to welcome you to December 2021 edition of the NCRIB Members Evening and to welcome you to the last month of the year. This edition of our bi-monthly Members Evening is the first under my watch as the President and Chairman Governing Board of our great Council.
First and foremost, I like to appreciate all members once again for your overwhelming support, both morally and financially towards the success of the Investiture as the 21st President of the Council held on October 21, 2021.
Since this is the first major event that would be held since then, permit me to use this medium, first to appreciate God, who granted us the grace to witness the occasion. Also, I sincerely appreciate all our distinguished Past Presidents, Governing Board Members, Investiture Planning Committee, Events Organising Committee and everyone for their efforts towards the investiture ceremony.
The event was adjudged an overwhelmingly success in all spheres. The glory which came with the success of the event belongs to all of us. With the event, the image of the Council, nay, our Profession has been further enhanced to underscore the critical place that Insurance Brokers should occupy in the scheme of things in our economy and the nation at large.
The caliber of dignitaries present at the event clearly showed that Insurance as a business is gaining more grounds and we can only leverage on this to deepen insurance awareness in the society.
It is on that premise I like to state that this administration would leave no stone unturned to ensure that we permeate all nooks and crannies of our society to propagate the gospel of Insurance.
May I profoundly congratulate my Sister, Mrs. Olufunmilayo Omo and her team for electing to host this edition of NCRIB Members Evening. I must confess that the event has metamorphosed from what it used to be to an event that notable Insurance Companies jostle for.
Permit me to emphasis here that Enterprise Life Assurance (Nigeria) Company has opted to host this evening at the best of the time when Companies and Individuals will be working assiduously to renew their clients’ policies or make the right choice for their Life Assurance policies.
Incidentally, your company is the first to host the event under the present administration, and it is my hope that Enterprise Life Assurance would extract significant value for this laudable investment in the relationship with our Council.
Distinguished professional colleagues, it is expedient for me to again lay clear before you this evening the focus and the thrust of this administration and seek for your utmost cooperation, support and advise at all time.
BROKERS’-CENTRISM AS FOCUS:
Having engaged in wide range consultations amongst members of the Council and some seasoned and well-meaning professionals, this administration came up with BROKER CENTRISM as its focus. This focus connotes that the Insurance Brokers’ welfare, progress and development, irrespective of their location and sizes would be the vortex of all decisions and actions that would be taken throughout my tenure. Fundamentally, I could see a virile sector that would impact its members significantly within the limit of the administration.
It is the intention of my team to be highly creative in stimulating ideas that would lead to financial solvency of the Council aside from the traditional subscription of members which is fast dwindling.
There is a common saying that no man or institution suffers financial destitution, rather they suffer from destitution of ideas. If follows, individual insurance brokers would be solvent, the Council must make strident efforts to ensure it compliments all relevant institutions, including NAICOM for the deepening of the insurance sector.
The bigger and the larger the pie by the industry, the bigger the portion that accrues to the insurance broking sub sector.
It is no longer news that the hallmark of all professions is the continuous acquisition of knowledge and openness to new and evolving knowledge, the Insurance Broker can definitely not be an exception. This tenure would open channels of training needs for it members within and outside the country. While reinforcing ties with already existing institutions within the country and without, we would also open up relationship with new ones.
STRATEGIC GOVERNMENT AND INSTITUTIONAL RELATIONS:
It is noteworthy that the Council has recorded phenomenal feats in strategic government relations under the immediate administration. Doors in Government Houses, Palaces and renowned institutions were opened for the NCRIB. However, since the largest room in life is the room of improvement, this tenure would open new vistas of qualitative relationship with more government institutions with a view to registering the brand of the Broker in their consciousness as valuable allies.
It is the intention of my team to ensure that Insurance Broking does not go into extinction through deliberate mentoring of the younger generation of operators. This we would do by stimulating the interest of the younger scholars in insurance broking right from their school days.
We would device strategic plans to reach out to educational institutions across the country and create awards and scholarships to those who have inclination towards Insurance Broking as a career.
CORPORATE FEASIBILITY SUSTENANCE:
As it is often said that image is everything, the current leadership team would sustain the corporate feasibility initiatives of the Council. In doing this, we shall tweak strategies for identifying and reaching out to more corporate institutions outside the remit of those we have already reached out to generate more news items for the media. We would also deploy our vast contacts with the media to enhance the Brokers’ brand in the consciousness of Nigerians.
Realising the fact that the Secretariat is the engine room for effective discharge of the set mandate of this tenure, this tenure would improve the quality and content of the secretariat’s human resources.
It is our intention to train, retrain and motivate our staff for them to be at par with their contemporaries in related institutions.
MORE IMPACTFUL INTRA INDUSTRY RELATIONS:
Permit me to state that since the insurance industry is a composite industry, the NCRIB will continue to advance positive collaboration with such bodies as the NIA, the CIIN and ILAN. While sustaining the tempo of technical relations with the NIA, we shall through the Association encourage underwriters to always see the sense in patronizing only current members of the NCRIB for credibility. If at all, the underwriters would transact business with other “intermediaries”, there must be a difference in commission rates and other benefits to justify the remarkable differentiation in their competencies and experience. The Council will also identify and pursue areas of relationship to the mutual benefits of the NCRIB and ILAN.
RECIPROCAL INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS:
During my short vacation, I used the opportunity to visit British Insurance Brokers Association (BIBA), in the Company of two prominent members of the Council. I am delighted to note that at the meeting, we further got BIBA’s commitments in specific areas of collaboration especially, in the area of Trainings. Members would latch more on the expertise of BIBA Members in strategic areas such as Oil & Gas, Risk Management and Strategic Leadership. Permit me to use this medium to invite you to participate in the upcoming BIBA’s Conference which is scheduled to hold between May 12 and 13, 2022, with the hope that the current VISA’s restriction on Nigerians would have become a thing of past. You will surely get more details from the Secretariat as events unfold.
It is pointless to rehash the fact that the Insurance Broker and his services are not sufficiently appreciated by members of the public. Despite being the only professional in the insurance value chain, the perception of Insurance by the Insured or public understanding of its functions are quite appalling. In solving this challenge, this team would adopt a two pronged approach of examining and improving on those traits found repulsive in the professionals themselves, after which concerted attempts would be made to improve his public image.
We shall attempt to carve a niche for the Broker as a trustworthy ally in the insurance value chain by increasing their value proposition and respectability. In doing these we shall be futuristic by borrowing significantly from other climes.
PROPOSED FIRE INSURANCE UNDERWRITING AND PRICING MANUAL BY PRAN:
You would recall that sometimes last month, the Professional Reinsurers Association of Nigeria (PRAN) released 2021 Fire Insurance Underwriting and Pricing Manual that the Council considered unacceptable to its Members and the insured public in view of the fact that Members of the Council were not carried along in determining the new pricing. In swift response to this, we directed that the Joint Technical and Legal Committee expeditiously meet to review and make recommendations to the Council. The Committee had met to critically appraised the guidelines, as well as its implications on Insurance Broking. Among other things, it is being resolved that Members should put their Clients on notice about the newly released rates to be introduced by NIA/PRAN and their after-effect on the insurance market. The Council has written the PRAN, NIA and NAICOM on the need to immediately suspend the released Manual for a minimum of nine (9) months pending further discussions and engagement by our Council.
On Friday, November 26, 2021, the World Health Organization (WHO) designated the strain, known as B.1.1.529, as a variant of concern and named it Omicron Variant on the advice of scientists who are part of the WHO’s Technical Advisory Group on Virus Evolution. There are lots we still don’t understand about this variant, but definitely, it is another killer virus in the family of COVID-19 and Delta Variant. I should note that no one should be in a hurry to forget the devastative effect of COVID-19 on lives and businesses. No one prays for the repeat of such in our domain again. It is on that note I like to urge my colleagues and everyone present here today to adhere strictly to government directives and be compliant at all time to avoid the preventable spread of the virus. In the light of unfolding challenges, I like to urge the Federal Government to urgently rise to the occasion and be more proactive in curbing the spread of Omicron Variant. The nation cannot succeed another months of lockdown as experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic neither can it sustain the wanton destruction of lives.
I must not fail to emphasis that NCRIB of our dream is a collective responsibility of both old and young Insurance Professionals. All hands must be on deck to ensure that we emerge and grow members and professionals who would grow to become brands that purchasers of insurance services defer to, with evidence of NCRIB membership as a prerequisite, thereby commanding consumer loyalty.
I have an assurance that this is possible through the support of all members. With cohesion of the present team and the support of all members, we are assured this is attainable.
Once again, I thank Enterprise Life Assurance for hosting this event and I wish you all a pleasant evening.
ROTIMI EDU, mni, FCIB
PRESIDENT/CHAIRMAN GOVERNING BOARD
NIGERIAN COUNCIL OF REGISTERED INSURANCE BROKERS