ACCEPTANCE SPEECH BY THE NEWLY ELECTED CHAIRMAN OF THE NIGERIAN INSURERS ASOCIATION (NIA), MR. EDDIE EFEKOHA, ON THURSDAY, JUNE 30, 2016 AT THE METROPOLITAN CLUB, KOFO ABAYOMI STREET, VICTORIA ISLAND, LAGOS
On behalf of the Governing council and the entire membership of the Nigerian Insurers Association, I thank you all for finding time to be part of the events of today.
My appreciation also goes to my colleagues in the Governing Council and all member companies of the Nigerian Insurers Association for their confidence in my ability to lead them which they have expressly proclaimed by my election as the 22nd Chairman of the Nigerian Insurers Association.
I remain truly grateful to you all. I want to note that my two years sojourn as the deputy chairman of the Association gave me ample opportunity to appraise and fully understand the dynamics and workings of the system.
Therefore, I consider my election as a call to duty; a call I am prepared for and willing to undertake. Leadership is all about shared vision and responsibility. I want to assure you that during my tenure, I intend to build on the achievements of my predecessors in office.
I am aware of the fact that the assignment is daunting therefore I call on all my colleagues to join me to reflect on our past, critically assess the present and look forward to the future with greater hope and enthusiasm.
We are fully aware that the there is a need for us to come together to save our industry now more than ever. The economic space is shrinking and businesses are facing greater threats; and the insurance sector is not insulated from developments in the global economic space.
It therefore behooves on us to respond quickly to the changing dynamics of the market space so that we do not go extinct in the face of the global pressures on our businesses. Indeed there is no better time than now to strengthen the Association and reposition it for the task ahead.
Permit me at this juncture to take us back to My Quest, in the Call to Service pact entered into with you, distinguished members of the Association two years ago when I sought your mandate for the position of Deputy Chairman.
We have since then commenced execution of key aspects of the service pact with my Immediate Past Chairman and other members of the governing council.
These include among others:
· A positive public image for the insurance industry
· Collaboration with industry regulators to ensure higher insurance contribution to national GDP Better industry friendly legislation
· Continuous digitalization of operations
· Enforcement of the compulsory insurance offerings through relevant public agencies
A lot of efforts and resources have been deployed in the recent past by boththe Nigerian Insurers Association, industry players and regulators at large to ensure the actualisation of the above objectives. We shall continue to intensify efforts at Council level to ensure the realisation of these goals.
Ours is indeed a collective effort. My promise is to ensure full actualisation of the projects we jointly embarked upon in the past, whilst ensuring that many more that will contribute to the elevation of the industry to new heights are embarked upon as I provide the necessary leadership.
It is in the light of the above developments that I have decided to commit the period of my chairmanship to address four critical areas in line with the theme of my administration which is: “Sustainable Market Development Through Stakeholders Engagement.”
These programmes are:
· Stakeholders’ engagement with policy makers at the Judiciary, the Legislature and other relevant Agencies of the government, as well as regulatory institutions and industry players.
· Enforcing market discipline amongst key industry players which will involve engagement with colleagues and partners in the industry to encourage market development and continuity in the industry.
· Review of the NIA constitution to make it more dynamic in response to the changing business environment.
· Other current projects embarked upon by the Association most important of which is the NIA Building Project. We will deal with these matters to the best of our abilities but where we make mistakes may you find a space in your heart to forgive us.
To prevent mistakes from occurring we will need your prayers, support and wise counsel always. I wish to acknowledge and commend the National Insurance Commission under the leadership of Alhaji Mohammed Kari, the Commissioner for Insurance, for instituting the Insurers’ Committee, a platform for dialogue between the regulator and regulated entities for the growth of our industry. Every leader is born for his own time!
It is my opinion that our industry at this time will benefit a lot from the openness to dialogue of the Commission as a means to addressing some of the ills of the market today for long term sustainability, growth and ease of regulation.
This is in line with the theme of my chairmanship and therefore I will not hesitate to encourage our members to participate actively as they have done since the inauguration of the Committee.
I want to restate that the NIA has and will continue to remain true to its legacy as an institution that exists to champion the cause of the insurance industry and we will ensure that the founders’ sense of purpose will be upheld by us at all times.
We must acknowledge the contributions of all the past Chairmen of this Association whose far-sightedness and courage has ensured that we stand here today. The strong foundation they have laid has given us the privilege to build on their successes.
Ladies & Gentlemen, friends and colleagues, on behalf of the Governing Council, I wish to restate our commitment to the ideals of this Association. I am truly honoured to lead in this remarkable, rewarding, exciting and uplifting journey.
I ask again for your support, encouragement, advice and prayers. I thank most profoundly, my colleagues in the Governing Council for their confidence and faith in me, the Nigerian Insurers Association and the insurance industry in Nigeria. Together we will take the NIA and the insurance industry in Nigeria to greater heights.
God bless Nigeria God bless Insurance Industry of Nigeria God bless the Nigerian Insurers Association.
Thank you all for your kind attention.