The first 100 days of the 47th President of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN), Mrs. Funmi Babington-Ashaye has been eventful. Here, EDDY JOHN highlights some of her activities during the period under review.
Babington-Ashaye received insignia of office of the institute on Tuesday, July 25, 2017 at colourful and historic ceremony at the Intercontinental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos from her successor, Lady Isioma Chukwuma.
In her acceptance speech at the investiture ceremony, she gave the theme of her presidency as “Insurance- Imperative for Education and Enlightenment”.
She said the theme was strategically chosen to address the information gap that exists between the Insurance Profession/Industry and the insuring public.
Her decision to address information gap was borne out of the fact that many Nigerians are not aware of the importance and benefits of insurance.
“Our research findings show that many people are not aware of the importance and benefits of insurance to their families and businesses. Yet, Insurance comforts, protects and cares for you particularly in times of disaster. It provides a great succour when all else fails. Despite its usefulness, it is one strategic action that is last considered when people are making investment decisions or planning their family activities,” she said.
It was against this background that she decided to address this information gap through public enlightenment and education.
This theme has five key pillars namely: Regular Advocacy; Members’ Continuing Professional Development; Enhanced Insurance Awareness; Continued Efforts On Institute’s Buildings and Reorganisation of the Secretariat.
Addressing a press conference recently in Lagos to give account of stewardship of her first three months in office, Babington-Ashaye said she will work hard to move the Institute forward. During the period under review, the CIIN is working assiduously to ensure the realization of her plans.
Pursuant to this, we have, within this first quarter of my presidency, paid courtesy calls on the Governors of Ogun, Oyo and Ondo States and received very reassuring and encouraging responses from these great leaders of thought. In the near future, we expect that these reassurances will result in more insurance activities in those states. In line with our programme, we intend, in the days and months ahead, to carry the advocacy to other stakeholders including players in the informal sector.
Enhanced Insurance Awareness
As part of the quick wins and the dire need to inform our members of happenings in the Institute, Profession and the Economy, the Council under, my leadership, recently launched its CIIN Monthly Newsletter. Electronic copies of the August 2017 maiden edition were emailed on 15th September, 2017 to all financial members of the Institute. I am pleased to report that the November, 2017 edition (which is the third edition of the E-Newsletter) has been published and circulated to members. With the E-Newsletter, many members are now more abreast of development within the Institute, profession, industry and the larger economy.
Catch Them Young
More strategically, we have taken the insurance awareness campaign to the youths, the leaders of tomorrow. Our desire is to catch them young and imbibe in their consciousness the crucial roles insurance plays in human endeavours. As part of this initiative, the Council has developed a roadmap to drive the Institute’s proposed partnership with the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC). Accordingly, the Institute has established contacts with the national headquarters of the NYSC, the Lagos, Ogun and Oyo state chapters to intimate them of the CIIN’s Catch-Them-Young Initiative. The pilot edition of the programme will kick-off at the Lagos state NYSC Camp during the November 2017 Orientation Exercise which starts today where a career talk will be organised for the benefit of Corps members. To facilitate continuous information dissemination, a CIIN Enquiry and Help Desk will be on ground throughout the duration of the orientation exercise. This initiative, which is designed to help attract young Nigerians into the insurance profession, will be replicated and sustained in other states of the Federation until it achieves a national spread.
Donation of Insurance Study Texts
To reinforce above measures, in September, 2017, I led a delegation of the Council to donate Insurance study texts published by our Institute to secondary schools in Abuja through the State Education Board of the Federal Capital Territory Authority. The Institute, in October, 2017, also distributed Insurance Textbooks to Secondary Schools in Oyo state through the Ministry of Education. Furthermore, complete sets of the CIIN professional course books were donated to tertiary institutions like The Polytechnic, Ibadan and Joseph Ayo Babalola University, Osun State during the period.
Establishment and Accreditation of Insurance Departments:
Pursuant to this, the Institute is presently working with Babcock University, Ilisan, Ogun State towards the establishment of a degree programme in Insurance in the school. A number of meetings have been held between leadership of both bodies to discuss the requirements and the curriculum of the new BSc Insurance Programme to be run by the University. A copy of the agreed Curriculum is presently been considered by the Senate of the University and thereafter, it will subsequently be sent to the Nigerian Universities Commission for approval. We are optimistic that the degree programme in Insurance will commence with the next academic session of the University.
Enhanced Membership Drive:
We are presently on a drive to achieve an additional 3,000 Members for the Institute within the next one year. Pursuant to this, I led a delegation of the CIIN to visit the Commissioner for Insurance in Abuja on the 12th of September, 2017. After our deliberations, the Commission graciously promised to issue a guideline that will compel all staff of Insurance Institutions in Nigeria to register as members of CIIN. This will go a long way in achieving our set goal.
Seminar for Heads of Department of Insurance:
To reinforce the above initiative, our Council recently organised a seminar for Heads of Department of Insurance Institutions in Nigeria during which, modalities for providing support to students offering Insurance in higher Institutions, to facilitate their qualification as professional insurers, were extensively discussed. We have received positive commitments from various institutions in this regard.
Members’ Continuing Professional Development:
Insurance is a dynamic profession particularly because the risks it seeks to protect people from are always changing. For professional insurers to be able to provide the right technical support that will adequately meet the needs of stakeholders, they need to be regularly trained. Accordingly, during the period under review, we organized the 6th edition of the CIIN Breakfast Seminar Series on 26th September, 2017 in Lagos during which Mr. Remi Babalola, FCA, former Minister of State for Finance gave members insight into emerging issues in the industry and profession and how to address them. The Institute is presently taking steps to replicate this in Abuja in the first quarter of 2018.
Executive Master’s degree in Insurance and Risk:
Furthermore, the Institute is presently working with the University of Lagos, to introduce an Executive Master’s Degree programme in Insurance and Risk Management which will be structured like the programme of Cass Business School (CBS), UK. On successful completion of the CBS Master programme in Insurance & Risk Management, for instance, its graduates are usually eligible to predetermined exemptions from both the CII UK and Nigeria qualifying examinations. This also facilitates the attainment of the Chartered Institute Advanced Diploma of both UK & Nigeria. Our desire is to replicate this programme in partnership with the University of Lagos for the benefit of our members. The University of Lagos Team in conjunction with the institute and Rector of the College of Insurance & Financial Studies are presently working on the content of the proposed MSc Risk Management and Insurance Programme. Also, a series of top level meetings are been held by all the key stakeholders to fashion out the best possible modalities for the programme.
Industry tour to Hong Kong:
Insurance is a global profession. Accordingly, we are also exploring the possibility of alliances with technical partners with the opportunity to interface on global standards and best practices. In line with this, plans have reached an advanced stage for the Institute to embark on an industry tour to Hong Kong. Final modalities for the actualization of this tour are being worked out by the Institute’s Education committee. When plans are concluded, gentlemen of the Press would be duly informed.
Continued Efforts on Institute’s Buildings:
I am delighted to inform you that all the necessary paperwork have been concluded, approvals have been obtained and adverts have been placed in newspapers for interested financiers and developers. We have also appointed consultants that will drive the different stages of the project. Proposals from interested financiers for the building project are presently being expected. When received, a transparent selection process will be conducted and contract awarded by the Council. We are putting in considerable efforts to make sure that these processes are expeditiously concluded.
Reorganisation of The Secretariat:
The Institute’s Governing Council is working on the restructuring and improved motivation for the Institute’s workforce. We find this expedient as the growth of the Institute depends majorly on a well-motivated and productive workforce. Very soon the Council will unfold its package in the hope that staff will reciprocate with greater productivity.
For a better society.