• Gowon, Alile, Olowude retire
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Chuks udo Okonta
Former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, AlhajiYayale Ahmed, has emerged the new Chairman of Industrial and General Insurance (IGI) Plc. He replaces Gen. Dr. Yakubu Gowon, former Head of State, who has retired from the Board of Directors. His appointment takes effect from April 19, 2016.
The change of baton signified a major shake-up in the board of the 24-year-old insurance company, as two other directors: the founding Director-General, Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Apostle Hayford Alile, and Mrs. Olubunmi Olowude, wife of the late Executive Vice Chairman of IGI, Remi Olowude, have also relinquished their positions.
Ahmed’s appointment was unanimously ratified by the company’s shareholders at its 23rd Annual General Meeting in Lagos. They also endorsed four other names proposed as Non-executive Directors to fill the vacancies on the Board.
The new directors are: Messrs. Augustine Oluyemisi Olorunsola, Kanayo Chuks Okoye, Gaffar Kayode Animashawun Jr. and Mrs. Awuneba Ajumogobia.
The retirement of the trio is coming on the heels of a directive by the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) which requires non-executive directors who have served up to nine years on the board of insurance companies to quit. By the new composition of its board, IGI becomes one of the first underwriters to fully comply with NAICOM’s directive and 2009 Code of Corporate Governance.
Speaking at the meeting, Gen. Gowon, who is the company’s founding chairman, described his successor and other appointees as “eminent Nigerians of impeccable pedigree, both in private and public life”.
He commended the shareholders, management and staff for their unwavering commitment through the years, urging them to support and cooperate with the reconstituted board as it braces up to steering the company to greater heights.
In his response, Ahmed thanked the Board members for appointing him and the shareholders for ratifying his appointment as chairman. “I appreciate most especially General Yakubu Gowon, GCFR, for his selfless and commendable service as chairman of the company over the past 24 years. His sterling leadership qualities are most admirable and worthy of emulation. We will surely miss him and the other two colleagues as they retire as directors of the company.”
With over three decades of administrative experience from the public and private sectors of the economy, Ahmed joined the IGI board as a non-executive director in 2014.
He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, in addition to honorary Doctorate Degrees in Law and of Letters awarded by the University of Abuja and Bayero University, Kano respectively.
A former Minister of Defence, Ahmed served in various top civil service positions. He was appointed Head of Service of the Federation in 2000 and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation in 2008. He is currently the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council, Bayero University, Kano.