WELCOME ADDRESS BY THE CHAIRMAN OF THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY CONSULTATIVE COUNCIL, IICC, MR. EDDIE EFEKOHA DURING THE OPENING CEREMONY OF THE 2019 NATIONAL INSURANCE CONFERENCE ON MONDAY, 1ST JULY 2019 AT THE CONGRESS HALL, TRANSCORP HILTON ABUJA.
Your Excellency, The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, President Mohammadu Buhari, GCFR
Ably represented by The Permanent Secretary, Finance, Federal Ministry of Finance, Dr. Mamud Isa Dutse
PS, office of the head of service, MRS Didi Wilson-Jack,vb
The Commissioner for Insurance, National Insurance Commission, Alhaji Mohammed Kari.
The Commissioner of Insurance, NIC Ghana, Mr. Justice Yaw Ofori
Past Chairmen and Members of IICC,
Chairman of NIAPresidents of NCRIB & ILAN
Chairmen of Sessions, Paper Presenters and Discussants
MDs and Senior Management of Insurance Institutions
Ladies and Gentlemen
It gives me great pleasure to welcome everyone here present to the 2019 edition of the National Insurance conference, an event that has become the most important and influential gathering of Insurance stakeholders in Nigeria and a significant highlight in the annual calendar of the Finance Sector.
This conference is the brainchild of the Insurance Industry Consultative Council (IICC), a body formed in 2013 to act as the unifying voice of the Insurance Industry in Nigeria and to represent it on National issues. The Council is made up of, The Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN), Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA), Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB), the Institute of Loss Adjusters of Nigeria (ILAN) and National Insurance Commission (NAICOM). The body stays committed to assuming roles that will serve the best interest of the Insurance Industry in Nigeria.
The theme for this Conference, Disruption, Innovation and Business Growth, is a fitting subject matter that brings into perspective, the growing influence of technological advancement and lateral thinking in today’s business clime. To capitalize on the great opportunities this cocktail of disruptions provides and to respond to the economic and social challenges we face today, courageous and comprehensive reforms are needed. These reforms require the collaborative efforts of governments, businesses and other stakeholders in society in order for the process to be truly successful.
This welcome address will be incomplete if I fail to comment on the topic of the moment and that is the new capital requirements as announced by NAICOM recently. In making these remarks I am reminded that there is no known policy decision be it of governments or corporates anywhere that has addressed all challenges faced by its immediate stakeholders. What is certain however is that such decisions seek and indeed resolve some of those prevailing challenges thus improving our operating environment.
Therefore as we commence this round of recapitalization I plead with the National Insurance Commission to give favorable consideration to the suggestions made by the Nigerian Insurers Association in their on-going engagements so that the necessary guidelines when released will ensure that the objectives of this reform are fully realized.
This recapitalization exercise, like every past reform, presents both opportunities and new challenges. As operators, we must begin now and not later to address our minds to the following questions:
• How do we maximize the use of the additional capital to generate superior returns to investors?
• How does technology help the industry to deliver superior service and deepen insurance penetration?
• How do we develop a data pool that supports improved pricing of risks underwritten and innovative products driven by consumer insights?
• What do we do to develop and attract the right skills and talents that can match the fast pace of technology revolution?
• How do we harness the values inherent in partnering with other industries like telecoms and banks to deepen insurance penetration?
• How do we partner with various arms of government like the NPF, Customs, Fire Service to ensure compulsory insurances are enforced?
• Above all, how can we cooperate better than we currently do for the good of all stakeholders?
I sincerely hope that all the discussions that will be held in this conference will enable us to gauge our concerns and expectations properly as to how the insurance industry can do things better in the future.
Permit me now to extend the gratitude of Council to the members of the Planning Committee who have toiled day and night to ensure we have a conference befitting of the stature of the Insurance Industry. A look at the line-up of speakers, discussants and chairmen of sessions scheduled to broach the various topics during this forum fills me with a sense of excitement and expectation.
My sincere appreciation equally goes out to all the sponsors especially the lead sponsor, Access Bank and NAICOM, who have committed so much resources to make this conference a success. Your commitment to the cause is what makes the discussions that we will be having through out the duration of this conference worthwhile. I therefore say thank you.
On a final note, it is my hope that aside from learning, you will share your thoughts with us over the course of the next two days on each and every topic billed to be discussed at this event. I trust that we will all leave this conference sufficiently challenged and inspired to return to our various business offices to go and be part of the industry’s transformation.
Once again, I say welcome and do have a splendid experience.
Thank you for your attention.
Eddie A. Efekoha, FCII, FIIN
Insurance Industry Consultative Council (IICC)