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Chuks Udo Okonta
Insurance practitioners across the globe have continued to count on the blessings, late Prof. Joseph Irukwu bequeathed on them and insurance practice.
Since his demise on July 7, 2023, tributes have continued to rain from people, who he touched directly and indirectly with his God’s given mandate.
For the insurance industry where he was considered the father and a beacon of light, he would be greatly missed.
Insurance practitioners today at the Insurance Industry day of tributes for Prof. Joseph Irukwu, in Lagos, took out time to pay tributes to Joe Irukwu
The West African Insurance Companies Association (WAICA) in its tributes, signed by the Secretary General Davis Iyasere, said Prof. Irukwu, was a founding father of WAICA and Chairman of the sub-regional body in 1982 when the association needed leadership.
It noted that through his administrative acumen and dexterity, he steered the ship of WAICA to an enviable heights, resulting in its growth and a meteoric rise in relevance, visibility and status for which the association witnesses today.
The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) in its tributes signed by the Commissioner for Insurance Sunday Thomas, said Irukwu was indeed a true visionary and pillar in the financial services sector.
NAICOM submitted that he devoted a better part of his life to the development of the Africa insurance industry.
The Insurance Industry Consultative Council (IICC) through its Chairman, Edwin Igbiti, said Irukwu fashioned the nexus between insurance and law and was epitome of intellectualism, who saw insurance business as a tool for sustaining future, even in those days.
He noted that Irukwu was referred to as the father of insurance law, adding that in him law and insurance converge.
The Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA) in its tributes signed by it Director-General, Yetunde Ilori, said Irukwu was one of the founding fathers of the association and was reputed to be the finder of the present NIA House.
She submitted that though he exit active insurance practice many years ago, he remained a member of the Governing Council and a strong pillar of support to the association.
She noted that Prof, was an insurance encyclopedia, a repertoire of knowledge in governance and the connection between insurance and law.
For the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB), his President Rotimi Edu, said Irukwu contributed to the Council and was a mentor, father figure, adding that many of the erudite members of the Council were one time or the other proud proteges of Irukwu.
The Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria CIIN Registrar, Mrs Abimbola Tiamiyu, said the industry has lost an icon, who contributed to the growth and development of the institute.
The President of Institute of Loss Adjusters of Nigeria (ILAN) Diipo Olanrewaju, said Irukwu was not merely a figurehead, but he was the living embodiment of passion for the insurance industry.
Past President of NCRIB, Shola Tinubu, said Irukwu’ books help shaped his knowledge on insurance.
Past President of the CIIN,hl Mrs Funmi Babington-Ashaye, said, Irukwu was instrumental to the grooming of many professionals.
She noted that his books which are very simple to understand really helped many professionals understand insurance.
President of ILAN, Diipo Olanrewaju, who preached the word of God at the event, whilst speaking on the topic: The End of All Men, charged insurance practitioners to imbibe the good lessons taught by Irukwu. He urged insurance practitioners to shun unethical practices, adding that the would be remembered for their deeds and would give account to God when the die.
He submitted that death reveals the vanity of life and value of life.
Chioma Irukwu-Sideso, daughter of the deceased, whilst appreciating insurance operators, thanked them for honouring her father greatly, stressing that the operators spent more times with the father during his inactive days, adding that such moments were cherished by his late father.
She promised to sustain and built on the legacy left by his father.