DR. (Mrs.) Onigbogi
INAUGURAL SPEECH DELIVERED BY DR. (MRS) BOLA ONIGBOGI, ACII, FCIB AS THE 20TH PRESIDENT OF THE NIGERIAN COUNCIL OF REGISTERED INSURANCE BROKERS DURING HER INVESTITURE CEREMONY HELD AT THE TRANSCORP HILTON , ABUJA ON THURSDAY, OCTOBER 31ST 2019
• The Special Guest of Honour, His Excellency Professor Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, GCON
• The Executive Governor of Osun State: His Excellency, Mr. Gboyega Oyetola, FCIB
• The Ag. Commissioner for Insurance: Mr. S.O Thomas
• Out Going President, Mr Shola Tinubu, FCIB
• Chairman of the Day: Hon. Justice R.N Ukeje, OFR
• Royal Father of the Day: His Imperial Majesty, Alayeluwa Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, Ooni of Ife
• The esteemed Guest Speaker: Hon Wumi Olubunmi Ogunmola, Deputy Chairman, House Committee on Judiciary, FCT
• My darling husband, Hon. Gbenga Onigbogi, FCA, Chairman Horizon Group of Companies
• Past Presidents and Governing Board Members of our Council
• Presidents of Insurance Constituent Bodies here present
• Distinguished Government dignitaries here present
• My professional colleagues
• Ladies and Gentlemen
• Gentlemen of the Press
It is my utmost pleasure to address you today as the 20th President of the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers. I am most enthused about my emergence as the second female President to be produced by our esteemed Council in its 57 years history as a professional institution. What can I say than to give all adoration to the Almighty God, the giver of life and from whom all blessings flow, for sustaining me through life and for seeing me through to the pinnacle of my career today. I must also thank my family, ably headed by my admirable and adorable husband, Hon. Gbenga Onigbogi, FCA who supported and provided the platform for my career success. Of course, I owe all members of the Council and its past leaders loads of gratitude for believing in me and giving me this rare opportunity to become the President. I recall that in the course of ascending the ladder to become President, I have served diligently under several of our leaders and past Presidents through whom I learned the ropes and obtained the necessary tutelage to lead our progressive council today as President. In particularly I have served as Deputy President to the out-going President, Mr. Shola Tinubu. I really appreciate his intellect and commitment to our Council. I hereby whole heartedly accept the offer to serve our Council as President as I promise to give utmost devotion of my intellect and material resources to give a diligent, conscientious and unselfish service to our Council as President.
It makes no news that our Council has survived the odds through the combined devotion of our past leaders and presidents who laid the moulding blocks for our Council as well as the commitment of the members, by God’s grace myself and my team would not let you down.
Taking over the mantle of leadership of our Council at this auspicious time definitely poses a great deal of challenges to me and my team, but with the support of all members and strategic stakeholders we shall wade through all the challenges to give our Council its deserved place in the comity of other professions in Nigeria.
As earlier underscored in the investiture lecture, the NCRIB under my tenure would have as its focus on “Building Image and Sustaining Legacies”. There is no better time to improve the image and perception of Insurance Brokers than now. We shall face the daunting task of improving the perception of the Insurance Broker in the eyes of all members of the public through strategic actions that would involve the engagement of all stakeholders that Insurance Brokers relate with. The image of the Council and its members would be enhanced through the various indices of friendly, speedy, honest, and ethical considerations. We would be more strategic in first identifying those factors that attracts bad reputation to the Insurance Broker (within and without), and start to attend to them one by one through deliberate and strategic communication with relevant stakeholders within and outside the industry. From this pivot flows the other thrusts of office with which this regime would be evaluated:
This is apparently the hallmark of any reputable professional institution. Whilst reckoning with the fact that paper qualification is the first step towards professionalism, more attention will be paid to issues such as adherence to ethics, business relationship amongst operators and continuous education to buoy up the competencies of Brokers. The regime would promote a blend of learning and interpersonal relationships. Whist individual Brokers will continually be attuned to their professional responsibilities, the regime will also concern itself significantly with how Brokers are perceived by the clients or the public. It may be noted that the horizon of broker today has been significantly affected by the image clients conjure about the practitioners. Suffice to state that the wrong and degrading perception of Brokers has been responsible for the wrong treatment usually meted to them in bidding for business, unlike other professionals. This must change! In order to restore or promote the integrity of our practice, this administration will strengthen internal disciplinary process to ensure that members adhere strictly to ethics and integrity in all their professional undertakings.
ii) ENHANCEMENT OF BROKING FRATERNITY
This leadership shall aggressively pursue the advancement of members’ interest. Members shall be treated in recognition of their individual rights and protect their individual and collective interests at all times. The Council shall ensure that every member would be proud to belong to the NCRIB as the Council under this leadership would ensure admission of new members under all categories that are spelt out under the NCRIB Act.
(iii) MANPOWER DEVELOPMENT FOR MEMBERS
The Council’s Management shall continue to pay attention to training and retraining of its members across all the various Area Committees in the Country. The Area Committees shall be encouraged to be more ingenious in coming up with more relevant and adaptive training strategies that will benefit members across all the strata of membership.
( iv) STRONG INSTITUTION BUILDING & FINANCIAL SOLVENCY
It is the intention of this regime to sustain the building of a strong and virile institution by continually strengthening the secretariat to play its roles most optimally. We shall look into those areas that could enhance the financial state of the Council for it to deliver on its mandate. We shall also continue deploy prudential guidelines to ensure the elimination of waste in the course of the tenure.
Still on Professionalism, mentorship of the younger ones and the upcoming Insurance Broking Professionals would be given premium attention and this would be achieved through a well-articulated mentorship programmes.
The regime will begin deliberate efforts to incorporate the younger professionals in broking into the mainstream of NCRIB activities and policies making processes.
A yearly recognition of outstanding young professionals within the insurance broking profession shall be made with “Young Insurance Broker of the Year” as a source of motivation to the upcoming generation.
(V) TRUST & INDUSTRY COLLABORATION
Since the insurance broker and the Council cannot operate in isolation or in a vacuum, this administration will be more strategic in its relationship with all the constituent bodies in the insurance industry, namely; The NIA, CIIN, ILAN & PILA.
The new leadership of NCRIB would further strengthen intra-industry collaboration with all these bodies and particularly review the issue of engaging the CIIN for the writing of insurance broking examinations. Also, the Joint Technical Committee of NIA/NCRIB would be re-invigorated to enhance market collaborations and harmony, which is direly needed in the industry at the moment. The Council will continue to sustain its active roles in the Insurance Industry Consultative Committee (IICC).
(vi) GOVERNMENT RELATIONS
There has always been a missing-link in relation with the Government and its agencies. This has resulted in lack of proper and effective implementation of various initiatives espoused by the operators in the industry. Efforts would be geared towards engaging various government agencies such as Nigeria Police, Customs Services, PENCOM, FRSC and others needed to assist in facilitating the enforcement of various compulsory insurances i.e. Motor, Marine, Group Life, insurance of Public buildings e.t.c.
The Council will strive to make deliberate efforts to curry the support of the three arms of government to tilt opinion and necessary support in favour of the insurance broking profession in particular and the industry at large. Towards achieving this, the administration would evolve such events as “Open Days” with relevant government agencies as well as striving to log into the activities of the Executive and the Legislators. The Government Liaison Committee would be rejigged to assist in this direction.
(vii) RELATIONSHIP WITH NAICOM
Our relationship with the regulatory body keeps improving and it is the intention of this administration to leverage on the existing improved harmonious relationship between NAICOM and our Council. Our approach is to latch on the current improved relationship with the Commission and intend to be more proactive and not reactive. The Council would make the Help Desk perform optimally by interfacing between the Council’s members and the Commission for a more harmonious and beneficial relationship.
(viii) INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
The regime would sustain the tempo of relationship with International Institution, such as the British Insurance Brokers Association (BIBA).
Aside from the yearly attendance at the BIBA Conference, efforts would be made to bring International resource persons to impact knowledge on members who may not have the wherewithal to travel to the international events. We shall also explore the possibility of the Council having a pivotal slot in the African Insurance Brokers Association (AIBA) Leadership.
I must not end my speech without further underscoring some of the challenges that Brokers are facing that requires the support and attention of government. One is the issue of government institutions and parastatals requesting for prohibitive, non- refundable bidding fees from Brokers as a precondition for their engagement. Insurance Brokers are not contractors but professional service providers like Lawyers, Doctors, etc who only offer services, and asking them to pay huge bidding fees is inappropriate. If at all, the fees could be marginal. Also of concern is government agencies charging fees to re-certify documents issued by them to Brokers such as licences, approved audited accounts, certificates of incorporation, tax clearances etc, which were issued to them by relevant government institutions. This is purely inimical and at cross roads with the Ease of Doing Business intentions of the President Buhari led administration. We also appeal to government, being the biggest spender and buyer of insurance to always release payments for premiums already budgeted for insurances as a way of motivating and growing the industry and by extension, national economy.
Once again, I appreciate the overwhelming support that I have received from numerous quarters to emerge as President and for the overwhelming success of this investiture. I look forward to the sustenance of the support for my good success in office.
Inaugural Speech Delivered by Dr. (Mrs) Bola Onigbogi, FCIB on Thursday, October 31st 2019