By Favour Nnabugwu
As the vice-president of the African Insurance Organisation (AIO), Mr. Tope Smart has the automatic ticket to be the next AIO president according to the body’s standards.
It will be recalled that Tope Smart was made the vice-president at the AIO’s 46th conference and annual general assembly in Johannesburg, South Africa 2019.
Smart, who is also the Group Managing Director, NEM Insurance Plc, had been a board member of AIO’s executive committee.
Smart expressed his commitment to the aims and objectives of the AIO.
He also reiterated his commitment to ensure the continuous growth and development of insurance on the continent.
Apart from giving him the opportunity to collaborate with leaders of insurance companies in other African countries, Smart will leverage on the spread of AIO, to make an enduring marks as the president
He stated, “I feel very excited becoming the AIO President because it will give me the opportunity to strike synergy and partnership with leaders of insurance companies in other African countries to be able to initiate and implement some of my dreams for the insurance industry in Africa in general,”
Impacting on the Nigerian insurance industry, he mentioned, “What I intend to do as the President of AIO to impact the Nigerian insurance industry is to see what is working in the insurance industry in other African countries that made them to contribute much more than we are doing to the economies of those countries such as South Africa with a penetration rate of 14 per cent; Kenya with a penetration rate of 2.5 per cent and some other countries that are doing much better in terms of the insurance”.
“So some of those things are what I will look at critically and ensure they are also implemented in Nigeria and also those that we need to implement locally to enable us to increase our penetration rate; we will also liaise with relevant government agencies to make sure that they are implemented”
“I will partner with relevant government agencies to ensure full implementation of compulsory insurances; of course this is critical for the growth of the insurance industry in Nigeria.
Tope Smart, a graduate and an award winner from the University of Lagos also holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
He is an Associate member of both the Chartered Insurance Institute of London and the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria. Tope, an astute professional, believes very strongly in the entrenchment of insurance in the mind of every Nigerian.
He is a Council member, Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria, Councilmember, West African Insurance Companies Association (Ghana), Councilmember, Nigeria-Britain Association, a past Chairman of the Nigeria Insurers Association to mention but a few.
Tope sits on the board of several companies amongst which are RegencyNem Insurance (Ghana) Limited and NEM Asset Management Limited. In 2014, he was appointed by the Federal Government as Co-Chairman of the Insurance Industry Transformation Committee.
He was also recently appointed as Chairman, Planning Committee of the University of Lagos Alumni Association’s Golden Jubilee Anniversary. In recognition of his outstanding achievements, Tope has won several awards among which are Distinguished Alumnus by the University of Lagos, University of Lagos Alumni Association Golden Jubilee Special Recognition Award amongst others.
He is also a two-time winner of the Business day Top 25 CEOs award. Tope is an alumnus of Harvard Business School.