Hon. Minister of Finance, Budget & National Planning
SPEECH BY THE SPECIAL GUEST OF HONOUR, HONOURABLE MINISTER OF FINANCE, BUDGET AND NATIONAL PLANNING MRS (DR) ZAINAB SHAMSUNA AHMED AT THE INVESTITURE OF BARR. OLUWAROTIMI EDU, mni AS THE 21ST PRESIDENT/CHAIRMAN OF THE GOVERNING COUNCIL OF THE NIGERIAN COUNCIL OF REGISTERED INSURANCE BROKERS (NCRIB) HELD AT LAGOS MARRIOT HOTEL, IKEJA – LAGOS ON THURSDAY 21ST OCTOBER, 2021
I am pleased to be here today for the investiture of Barr. Rotimi Edu, mni as the 21st President and Chairman of the Governing Council of the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB). The incoming President I have been told is a seasoned administrator, well-baked and versatile insurance practitioner with decades of experience which I believe he will bring to bear in the discharge of his responsibilities as President and Chairman of the Council.
Let me first congratulate the out-going President of the NCRIB, Dr. (Mrs) Bola Onigbogi for an excellent performance of the Insurance Broking fraternity during her tenure notwithstanding the challenges brought about by the emergence of COVID-19.
Your effort no doubt assisted in mobilising the insurance industry’s support to the Federal Government in its fight against the Covid 19 pandemic. The Federal Government is grateful to the Nigeria insurance industry.
I must also say that your tenure is a remarkable one that has given the industry some level of stability and successes. The insurance industry’s swift response to the settlement of claims that arose from the Endsars crisis which I am told is over N9 billion cannot go without mention on occasion like this. The insurance industry has done well but can do more.
I want to congratulate you Madam on your achievements and I believe this is just a stepping stone to what the industry should expect from your successor. We express our gratitude for your selfless service and wish you well in all your future endeavours.
Now to the man of the moment Barrister Rotimi Edu, congratulations to you on your election as the 21st President and Chairman in Council of the NCRIB. In your new leadership position, it will be expected that you and your council and indeed the entire insurance broking family will key into the various initiatives of the Federal government especially those relating to poverty alleviation.
The Insurance sector in its more than 60 years history has never before this time enjoyed the closeness, romance and positive relationship with the Federal Government as we have presently under the administration of His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR.
While insurance industry is celebrating these recent developments of support by the Federal Government, it will be a good opportunity for the insurance sector to impress in the heart of the general public and businesses the value of insurance as a financial instrument for protection and sustainability.
The leadership of all arms of the insurance sector must see this opportunity as a challenge to boost the image of the sector and move positively closer with a view to increase its visibility through efficient service delivery.
The harmonious working relationship between the NCRIB and other stakeholders is commendable and we expect that this is sustained and improved upon. The issue of professionalism and business ethics must be taken seriously among members of the insurance broking fraternity and indeed the entire insurance industry.
This will in turn improve the fragile image and perception of the sector by the populace. The incoming President and Chairman in Council of the NCRIB, Mr Rotimi Edu, your deep knowledge about the industry, versatility and pedigree and recently a graduate of National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) which earned you Membership of the Institute (mni) certificate gives me the confidence that the Council under your leadership will be a formidable partner to your Regulator the National Insurance Commission and the government in the implementation of its various policies and initiatives.
The Federal Government is not unaware of the challenges confronting businesses including the insurance sector and it is doing so much through various initiatives and policy rearrangements to ensure stability in the system.
The world has moved many places ahead of Africa in so many fronts in insurance practice and governance. The insurance sector is a knowledge-based industry which must take issue of training of its members seriously in order to update itself with current realities across the globe.
By training and retraining we can adequately equip practitioners with modern techniques and practice from the traditional ways of doing business to more robust, all-inclusive and diversified channels of reaching our huge potential clients.
I want to use medium to encourage members of the NCRIB to be open to initiatives including the adoption of relevant technologies aimed at making the insurance market robust and all-inclusive especially at a time that the Commission’s cardinal objective is centered on deepening penetration and developing the market. It is worthy to say that extreme times like this require extreme measures to reach out to the nooks and crannies of the country.
Partnerships and collaborations must be sustained with other stakeholders we perceive as progress partners in consumption, supply or distribution of insurance products in the country. The market is indeed in a dare need of serious partnership, collaboration and synergy if truly the industry wants to make the required impact.
The efforts been made so far by the Commission require the industry players to actively get involved. My observation has revealed that there is huge market for insurance in every State of the Federation but lack of or inadequate presence of insurers and intermediaries may have hindered uptake of insurance in those places.
I want to challenge the intermediaries that there is huge untapped market in the retail business and I urge your members to learn new ways to reach out and explore this area of huge potential for inclusiveness.
In conclusion, I want to assure you of the commitment and support of the administration of His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR to the development of the insurance industry and make it a veritable instrument for national growth and development. The contribution of the insurance sector to the nations GDP must become significant for recognition.
Once again, I wish the outgoing President well in her future endeavors and pray that God Almighty gives the incoming President the strength and wisdom to pilot the affairs of the Council.
Long live the Nigerian insurance industry, Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria.