The first consideration that will engage my attention as President is the advancement of professionalism in the Insurance Broking profession. As the professional arm of the insurance industry, Insurance Brokers cannot afford to fail in being seen as professionals and acting as such. Permit me, however, to note that we shall view and promote professionalism in its holistic form. Whilst reckoning with the fact that paper qualification is the first step towards professionalism, more attention will be paid to issues such as ethical adherence, image, comportment, business relationship amongst operators and continuous education to buoy up the competencies of Brokers
INAUGURAL SPEECH DELIVERED BY MR. KAYODE OKUNOREN AS 18TH PRESIDENT OF THE NIGERIAN COUNCIL OF REGISTERED INSURANCE BROKERS ON THURSDAY, OCTOBER 15, 2015 AT THE FEDERAL PALACE HOTEL, VCTORIA ISLAND LAGOS
- His Excellences (Here Present)
- His Royal Majesty, the Akarigbo of Remoland, Oba Michael Adeniyi Sonariwo
- The Chairman of this Occasion, Chief Julius Adelusi Adeluyi, OFR
- The Commissioner for Insurance, Alh. Mohammed Kari
- My boss and leader, Mr. Amos Adeyeye
- His Eminence Dr. Samuel Uche: The Prelate of the Methodist Church of Nigeria
- Past Presidents and Living Ancestors of the NCRIB
- My Lovely wife and admirable consort
- Our Special Guests
- All Insurance Industry Chief Executives and Top notch (here present)
- Our distinguished members
- Gentlemen of the Media
Today is another significant day in the annals of our distinguished Council as we witness another successful transition in the Presidency of our professional body. I particularly want to thank the Almighty God and the entire membership of the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers for providing me the opportunity and the mandate to be your President. I vow to devote my experience, my brain and my brawn in serving our noble Council unselfishly as President.
Permit me to state that becoming the 18th President of NCRIB is a thing of personal joy to me and it gives me fulfilment as an Insurance professional of over 40 years. Before attaining this position, it is most heart-warming that I have served the Council in several responsible capacities on the Governing Board, during which I garnered considerable experience and insight into the problems, challenges and aspirations of the average insurance broker. These will definitely give me the needed impetus to serve the Council and take the broking profession to higher heights. With your support, it is my belief that the next two years will be progressive and developmental. It is quite auspicious for me to appreciate the profound support and roles played by my mentors, (gladly some of them are here today). These eminent men believed in me and by so doing provided the pathways for my success and accomplishments in life. I will be eternally grateful!
In order to give proper direction to my tenure as President, I decided to code name this tenure “A Regime of Consolidation and Progress”. This is borne out of the need to consolidate on the solid and positive contributions of our past Presidents and Leaders, as well as move the Council positively forward. Similarly, I have articulated a thrust of office that will remain a “covenant” between members of my team and the generality of our membership, as well as serve as a trajectory for measuring our accomplishments in office.
The first consideration that will engage my attention as President is the advancement of professionalism in the Insurance Broking profession. As the professional arm of the insurance industry, Insurance Brokers cannot afford to fail in being seen as professionals and acting as such. Permit me, however, to note that we shall view and promote professionalism in its holistic form. Whilst reckoning with the fact that paper qualification is the first step towards professionalism, more attention will be paid to issues such as ethical adherence, image, comportment, business relationship amongst operators and continuous education to buoy up the competencies of Brokers. In fact, we shall promote a blend of learning and interpersonal relationships. Whilst 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 brokers 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 stop. In order to restore or promote the integrity of our practice, this regime will strengthen internal disciplinary process to ensure that members adhere strictly to ethics and integrity in all their professional undertakings.
Closely related to professionalism is the issue of mentorship. I promise that my team will pay significant attention to the promotion of the growth of the younger insurance broking professionals through a well-articulated mentors hip programmes. Realizing that the young professionals are the leaders of the profession tomorrow and the agents of change today, this regime will begin a deliberate effort to incorporate them into the mainstream of our activities and policies. We shall considerably borrow and latch on the experiences of similar bodies in advanced climes to ingeniously invent platforms for mentorship which will in turn aspire the up-coming professionals in the act and practice of insurance broking. Our anchor will be to continually aspire to inspire before we expire! Further to this, we shall commence a yearly recognition and award called “Young Broker of the Year” as a source of motivation to the upcoming generation.
- IMPROVED COLLABORATION WITH NATIONAL INSURANCE COMMISSION AND OTHER GOVERMENTAL BODIES
In view of the changing operational environment that has continued to affect the practice of insurance brokers, this administration will be proactive in relating with relevant regulatory and government institutions which activities impact on its members. Notably, relationship with the National Insurance Commission will be more strengthened with initiation of regular interactive platforms to discuss issues affecting Brokers, rather than being reactive in our approach. Whilst realizing the superintendent functions of the Commission, the Council will push more for appropriate regulations that will recognize the challenges of survival being faced by the operators and promote the growth of the profession. Similarly, we shall strengthen relationship with other government institutions such as the FRC, the FIRS, etcetera, for the benefit of members.
- INCREASED TEMPO OF LOBBY WITHGOVERNMENT AND OTHER STAKEHOLDERS
Since the insurance broking profession cannot operate in isolation or in a vacuum, this administration will be more strategic in engaging government, particularly the three arms, to curry sufficient positive image and favour for the growth of the broking profession. It is a common knowledge that the broking profession is not destitute in terms of quality of net worth personalities, some of whom are either members or are serving on the Board of Brokerage firms; the administration will deploy strategies to hold regular interactive platforms to expose them to our common challenges with a view to solving them. This intention is anchored on the belief that whatever affects one broker will most likely affect all. Furthermore, the Council will strive to be more proactive, rather than reactive in tackling issues and threats to the collective survival of the industry as they evolve.
My team shall also be under obligation to foster the spirit of unity and collaboration already existing in the insurance industry, especially through the Insurance Industry Consultative Council. The NCRIB will play more active roles in the industry Committee for the unity and collective image of the industry.
- GREATER POSITIVE COLLABORATION WITH GOVERNMENT
In view of the pivotal place and role of government in growing the insurance industry and providing social benefits to the people, the Council in the course of this regime will work more collaborative with government, particularly in availing it with its repertoire of knowledge in Risk Management, to support relief operational efforts in the event of losses occasioned by fire and other hazards. We intend that the collaboration would be a win-win game whereby government would be able to latch in on the expertise of Brokers in taking proactive steps against disasters when they occur. It is my strong belief that government could transfer the burden of compensation to victims of disasters if insurance is given its due place. This effort will free resources for other progressive ventures and aid the prudential fiscal thrust of government.
- AGGRESSIVE ADVANCEMENT OF MEMBERS’INTEREST
One bugging issue that had confronted past leadership and management of the Council is the question often asked by members about the value they derive by being members of the Council. This administration will treat members in their individual rights and ensure the protection of their interests. The Council will under this administration improve the morale of individual members and give them a sense of belonging. Under this regime, each member would be proud to belong to the NCRIB.
- IMPROVED IMAGE OF BROKERS
It is a mantra that “image is everything”. The issue of projecting positive image will be given premium consideration under this administration. Aside from strengthening efforts in projecting activities of the council through the media, for all events, we shall also create events that will put us in good light as professionals. Under this regime, the Council will launch itself into the planning processes of notable institutions for the purpose of creating sufficient awareness at such fora, for the industry’s positive image. It has been observed that the Council has probably not done enough in reaching out to other professions to make an impressionable imprint. This orientation will change. We shall henceforth go all out for meaningful synergies. If mountain, as it is often said, does not go to Mohammed; Mohammed would have to go to the mountain this time around!
- INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
Permit me to note that this administration will not relent in extending the hands of fellowship to relevant global professional bodies as it is already doing, for the benefit of members. Considering the fact that previous regimes had opened the vistas of relationship with some strategic insurance brokerage institutions, notably in the UK; Australia, Malta, Ghana, Canada and the UAE; this administration will begin to work on how such collaboration could be consolidated and translate into business fortunes for our individual members. We shall clear the pathway for members to individually log into business opportunities from professional bodies with which the Council had secured foreign relationship. This is the only way by which the tempo of interest of members would be sustained.
- MAN-POWER DEVELOPMENT
Going by the saying that the strength of any organization could be equated to the quality of its human resources, the Council’s management will pay greater attention to training and retraining of its members across all the various Area Committees in the country. The Council will be more ingenious in coming up with more relevant and adaptive training strategies that will benefit members across the strata. We shall explore provisions of memberships in our law to ensure that every one working in the Brokerage sub sector has a place in moving the Council forward.
I cannot conclude this address without appreciating the brotherly love I enjoyed from all our past Presidents or Living Ancestors. You all laid the solid foundation upon which we are building today. I must specifically appreciate the immediate past President, Mr. Ayodapo Shoderu, who was not only my senior in secondary school, but also gave me sufficient impetus to operate as his Deputy in the last two years. Since without counsel, according to the Book of Proverbs 15 vs 22, good plans may go wrong; I hereby enlist again the support and cooperation of all members for the success of this administration. My intention is to be the President of all members and to connect with the aspirations of all, irrespective of their status, age and location. I intend to run an open and all inclusive administration that will give sufficient room for members to make their contributions and ventilate their views or grievances when or should they arise. I am here to serve and I, therefore, commit to taking insurance broking practice and the NCRIB higher than I met it, God willing.
I thank you for listening and God bless
KAYODE OKUNOREN, FCII, FIIN
President/ Chairman Governing Board