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Chuks Udo Okonta
Shareholders, insurance practitioners and other stakeholders have welcomed the appointment of Sunday Thomas as the Commissioner for Insurance.
They lauded President Muhammadu Buhari for giving the insurance industry a commissioner who understands the feeling of all stakeholders and is determined to take the sector to lofty heights.
The Coordinator Emeritus, Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN) Sir Sunny Nwosu, congratulated Thomas for his appointment, stressing that what impressed him most about the appointment is Thomas’ knowledge of the workings of the industry.
He applauded Thomas for the wisdom he demonstrated in handling the recapitalisation. “See the way he managed the recapitalisation. When the shareholders observed that the timeline was so short that no insurance company will be able to successfully meet the recapitalisation timetable, we continued to talk and he set-up a stakeholder meeting with shareholders and other stakeholders and they listened to us and extended the deadline,” he said.
He implored Thomas to live up to the confidence reposed on him. “He is okay, but he should not use his period of acting to impress us. He must make sure that he continues in that way and listen to all stakeholders in order to take a just decision that will be right for everybody. I congratulate him on behalf of shareholders on his new appointment and also to let him know that he is there to serve us both shareholders and other stakeholders,” he added.
He posited that the appointment also negated former traditions. “For the first time, the government did not regionalized the appointment, professional competence has come to play in this, so we appreciate the appointment,” he submitted.
Executive Secretary, Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Broker (NCRIB), Fatai Adegbenro; said: “We thank the President for another good decision. It is the beginning of a new dawn in the insurance industry. Thomas has demonstrated his capability and competence to give the industry a new direction as evident in his leadership style during the period of acting as the CFI.
“He restored peace and promote cooperation and cohesion among the operators. His goal has been to grow the industry for the betterment of the nation’s economy and all stakeholders. We wish him a fruitful and beneficial tenure.”
Director-General, Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN), Richard Borokini, said the appointment is a welcomed development as Thomas is an insurance man through and through and a thoroughbred insurance professional.
He maintained that Thomas grown through the ranks to rise to the apex and has the required, knowledge skill and experience to build on the achievements of his predecessors and move the Insurance industry to greater heights.
“He has exhibited, skill, and shown far reaching knowledge of the Insurance industry during his stinct as acting commissioner. His confirmation is a testament to the good work he has done. It surely signals exciting times and better things to come for the industry and we assure him the total support of the Institute,” he posited.
Principal Partner/Chief Executive Officer, Peninscope Professional Warranty Limited, Peter Adediji, said the appointment is a welcomed development to the insurance industry as a whole, stressing that Thomas is rightly the round peg in a round hole and has all that it takes for the job.
“Since he came in July 2019, he has been able to demonstrate his technical capability in a friendly manner. He is also a freemixer without compromising his integrity
I join other wellwishers to congratulate our new Commissione for Insurance,” he said.
A stakeholder, Chief Nwakibie Patrick Egbuniwe, said: “I join in congratulating Thomas. A seasoned professional who has great respect and listens to the views expressed by his colleagues for the good of the industry.”
Dotun Ogunwoolu, another stakeholder submitted: “This’s a very well deserved appointment as Thomas is not only a consumate technocrat but also a well groomed administrator who has seen it all from the operators angle and now from the regulatory perspective since 2017. He has been able to stabilize the industry since his assumption of office as the Commissioner for insurance albeit in the acting capacity since July 2019. No doubt his confirmation is a testimony of the confidence the industry stakeholders have in his leadership. I pray for his successful tenure as a substantive Commissioner with imbued wisdom and good health from the Almighty Allah. Congratulations.”
A stakeholder, Josephine Gbuji, said: “Yes, now a well grounded and progressive insurance guru to run Insurance affairs Congrats to Oga Thomas.”
President Muhammadu Buhari, had on May 2, 2020 approved the appointment of Sunday Thomas as the substantive Commissioner for Insurance/Chief Executive Officer (CEO), National Insurance Commission (NAICOM).