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Chuks Udo Okonta
Less than 100 days in office, the President of Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB) Barrister Rotimi Edu, has apprised members of the broking fraternity and the general public of his achievements.
He did this yesterday at a breakfast series organised by the NCRIB in Lagos, adding that it was his utmost honour to address the esteemed members at the auspicious event.
His words: “Permit me to state that I am not unaware of my bounden responsibilities to use this medium again, to apprise you all with my modest strides so far accomplished in the less than 100 days of my mounting the saddle as 21st President of our Council.
As I often share with all members at every opportunity the thrust of this tenure is pivoted on “Brokers Centrism”. The implication of this is that the welfare of members, irrespective of their size or location constitute the focus or vortex of this leadership.
The intention is to promote the ethos of a “complete Insurance Broker” who would be able to hold his or her head in every dimension of their professional calling. It is most heart-warming to note that inspite of the shortness of time, this leadership team has been able to accomplish some modest feats, through the stoic support and cooperation of all members, including that of our revered Past Presidents and Elders;
One of the first strides of this administration was to undertake a structural facelift of the Secretariat.
As a first step in this regards, we started with the outright replacement of the ceilings of Secretariat building with Plaster of Paris (POP) to give the building a more exquisite look and better ambiance.
Building on the existing legacy laid down, we also undertook the painting of the entire Secretariat. Similarly, In terms of capacity building, myself and the entire Management team, rejigged the positions of staff at the Secretariat, positioning each of the staff to function properly within their capacities.
This has served as a great motivation for the staff to deliver service to members maximally. As we speak, different training programs have been recommended to staff to aid their individual professional development which will ultimately be inputted into the efficient running of the Secretariat.
SUSTAINANCE OF INTERNATIONAL IMAGE & RELATIONSHIPS:
In a bid to foster strategic governmental and non-governmental relationships both within and outside Nigeria, you would recall that myself and some members of the Council, visited the British Insurance Brokers Association in London, United Kingdom where we discussed further collaborations with the Institution, especially in the area of training opportunities that are available, for our members to participate in.
The visit was very productive as BIBA not only promised to open its doors to collaborative trainings for Registered Insurance Brokers in Nigeria, but also to granted further discounts to members who would be attending subsequent BIBA conferences.
A significant highlight of the visit to BIBA was the consent of the Association to grant a slot to Council’s leadership to speak at the next BIBA conference.
There is no doubt that this would be a rare honour, considering the constellation of top professionals and government dignitaries that would attend the event globally. This would not only open us up to the world but give in-depth insights to Insurance Brokers in diaspora about our operations and aspirations for sustainable growth.
Also during the visit, the Chief Executive of BIBA, Mr. Steve White, gave informed insights into how strategic engagements with government parastatals on building Insurance and effective legislative lobby would ease regulatory compliance.
CONSOLIDATED INSURANCE BILL:
You would all agree with me that the Council under the immediate leadership of our Past President, Dr (Mrs.) Bola Onigbogi FCIB, worked tremendously to ensure that our collective agitations were entrenched in the Bill currently before the National Assembly.
Building on this existing legacy, we are currently having consistent talks and brokering deeper relationship members of the House Committee on Insurance and Actuarial Matters, to ensure that the Insurance Bill which would later be passed as law, embodies all our inputs and creates a conducive business environment for Insurance Brokers to practice and thrive in Nigeria. We are indeed sure of a very fruitful outcome and passage of the Bill.
OPENING MORE VISTAS FOR MEMBERS THROUGH THE LAGOS INTERNATIONAL TRADEFAIR
The Lagos International Trade fair which held last year from 4th till 13th December, 2021 for the first time, featured the appearance of our Council.
A slot was secured by this leadership for our members at the well-attended International Fair. The opportunity of the Fair was utilised to apprise members of the insuring public with the value derivable from engaging an Insurance Broker before insuring their assets.
It was a very memorable event as members were given the opportunity to showcase the different services offered by Insurance Brokers in Nigeria. Many of our members that keyed into this event can attest to the fact that it was quite eye opening and gave their businesses better exposure and brand visibility.
Suffice it to state that great brands are often built by instalments! Our intention is to make the appearance of the Council at the Fair a yearly event, more so now that we have one of our own iconic Past Presidents, Asiwaju (Dr.) Michael Olawale-Cole, on the saddle as the current President of Chamber.
FIRE RATING MANUAL
In November 2021, the Professional Re-Insurers Association of Nigeria (PRAN) released a new version of the Fire Rating Guide, an amendment to the existing Guide published in 2009.
This ratings as we were all aware, were not favourable to the insuring public especially when the Council as a critical stakeholder in the Insurance industry was not consulted before the release of the Rating Guide.
The Council rose to the occasion and staved off its momentary negative impact on our operations. Happily, we have begun to engage PRAN and The Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA) on the newly released Guide, most especially to ensure that its implementation was suspended pending further dialogue with PRAN. This they acceded to and I can boldly say this is another milestone covered by this leadership.
There is no doubt that this Breakfast Event provides me with an opportunity to cross fertilize ideas with members especially on those aspects of life that had positively shaped my journey as a professional, as well as a business owner and entrepreneur. I have deliberately chosen to give a add-on in form of a paper which I entitled “Habits of a High Performing Leader” as against “High Performing Manager” advertised in the brochure.
I rather prefer to speak on “leadership” because organizations in the industrial revolution were run by managers, as opposed to knowledge based organisations in contemporary times.
Although in giving this talk, I would not be holding myself out as having possessed all these qualities that I would be discussing with you, but like a product in the works, I have applied some of these habits to my life, profession and business and I can attest to their workability, if adhered to.
Please bear in mind that this would be interactive session hence I want to encourage members to ask questions as well as make their own contributions.
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