Mr. O.S. Thomas
Commissioner for Insurance
National Insurance Commission (NAICOM)
Mr. O. S. Thomas, the Commissioner for Insurance, National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has urged insurance operators in Nigeria to inculcate the experience of the current COVID-19 pandemic in their transactions going forward. He said the pandemic also presents a new challenge to the business of insurance in Nigeria.
Thomas made the remarks at the investiture of Mr. Muftau Oyegunle as 50th President of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN) in Lagos.
The CFI said: “My dear insurance professionals and practitioners, let us be aware that the advent of the prevailing Corona Virus pandemic COVID-19 has presented a new challenge to the insurance sector. Thus, a paradigm shift from the usual way of practice has become inevitable. What this means in essence is that insurance practitioners must learn to inculcate the new world order brought about by the COVID-19 experience. This has become an imperative rather than an option. Suffice it to say that critical times require critical measures. The challenges before the Institute during and post COVID-19 are enormous; how you do your marketing for new members, how you run your education seminars, where and how you conduct your examinations for prospective members will all be affected by the prevailing circumstance. I therefore urge the new leadership to take these challenges into serious consideration in developing new curriculum for the Institute.”
The NAICOM chief described the CIIN as “the most unifying factor that binds us together as insurance professionals; as such, the position of President of the Institute is one of the most revered as far as insurance practice in Nigeria is concerned. As the custodian of our values and entrencher of ethical behaviour in the practice, a herculean task certainly awaits whoever emerges the president of the Institute at any particular time not to mention such a challenging time as we are currently experiencing.”
He paid glowing tribute to the outgoing President of the Institute, Mr. Eddie Efekoha for all his efforts at moving the Institute to the level it is today despite the challenges.
“I salute his doggedness, commitments and passion for the profession; not forgetting also the professional advice, contributions, support and cooperation the Commission enjoyed during his leadership.”
He said Mr. Oyegunle has had a long history with the Institute, working with different presidents at different times as member of the Council.
“We expect that as you receive the mantle of leadership which symbolises power and authority in determining standard and practice of our profession, you will bring the experience garnered over the years to bear in the discharge of your new responsibility. More than ever before the Institute must embrace technology as one of its key drivers for development. The Institute should be prepared to digitalize its processes, procedures and systems in order to make its operations seamless and real time.”
The NAICOM CEO urged the new President thus:
“As a professional Institute, your communication and engagement with your stakeholders cannot be encumbered by disruption to physical interactions. I want to challenge the new leadership of the institute to make this a priority in its agenda. Of course, training and deliberate exposure of existing members of the institute to new technology would also go a long way in reshaping their perspectives. Public perception of insurance business still remains very low largely due to the unacceptable professional conduct of very few of our members. The Institute has a pivotal role to play in rebranding and reshaping the ethical behaviour of members in order to ensure that every member is a true representative of the core values the insurance profession stands for.”