Muftau Oyekunle, CIIN President’s speech @ Directors conference

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It is my utmost pleasure to welcome you to the 2021 Insurance Directors’ Conference. The theme for this event “Insurance Industry in a Changing World” is a theme that cannot be over flogged.

On daily basis, we see signs of the changing world around us. Political and business leaders all over the world gather regularly to discuss the way forward. A radical transformation triggered by the events which took place in the immediate past years has changed the business world and life in general as we used to know it. Countries and organizations’ have woken up to the fact that there is no set date, time, or place for disruption to occur. All businesses are proactively retooling their operations to ensure adequate protection against the unknown future.

It is impossible to talk about the changing world of insurance or even the financial sector in general, without talking about Artificial Intelligence. AI is fast becoming the order of the day as organizations seek to build leaner but more effective teams. Every business firm in the 21st Industry must leverage on technology to simplify its business strategies and processes especially now that the pandemic has forced business executives to do things differently.

The future that AI promises for insurance is a series of touch less processes from premium collection through the entire value chain until claims processing. This is evident by the numerous startups, as well as IT and insurance giants massively investing and offering increasingly innovative new solutions. It is imperative for market stakeholders to be at the cutting edge of technology and to equip themselves with the appropriate tools required for performance. The purpose of insurance is to enable risk-taking, support economic growth, encourage innovation and ultimately to enhance the resilience of the society and economy.

Consequently, there is a need for us as individuals, professionals, and organizations to aggressively equip ourselves with skills and knowledge that would ensure we have the best assets. This implies that we must groom world class manpower for improved performance and growth of the industry. With the increasing digitalization and ‘low touch’ system where human input is at its minimal, professionals need to meet the emerging demands for specialized skills.

Furthermore, continuous customer engagement cannot be overemphasized as this not only builds trust but puts the insurer in the face of the customer. Typically, insurance products and services are perceived as offerings that do not require constant meeting with clients except at major events such as customer acquisition, claims registration and policy termination. While it is vital to make these moments rancor free, it is equally important to provide more customer interaction channels to facilitate effective service delivery to clients. A good starting point should be the provision of basic knowledge on insurance and its operations to consumers. Awareness is a militating factor in the growth of Insurance.

The Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN) as the premier professional body caters for insurance professionals through the provision of skills and knowledge required to deliver excellent performance in their organisation. Ultimately, our members become growth drivers within the industry.

The CIIN in furtherance of its statutory responsibilities established the College of Insurance and Financial Management (CIFM) which currently is pivotal in manpower development in the Nigerian insurance industry at all levels. This was achieved by the provision of in-depth training in insurance, financial management and marketing thereby creating an expert driven resource pool from which the industry benefits.

On behalf of the Council of the CIIN, I wish to express our happiness and support for this well packaged event organized by the CIFM in collaboration with the regulator, NAICOM in pursuance of the mandatory learning and training for directors in insurance organizations. The quality of speakers lined up today is quite reassuring of the impactful and insightful experience that this conference would deliver.

I therefore seize this opportunity to appreciate NAICOM on two fronts. First, for providing this platform annually to help members of the board of insurance organizations to refocus on their very important role of running ethical, profitable, and sustainable insurance organizations. Secondly, for the continued confidence in the CIFM and its ability to always deliver quintessential training events.

Beyond technology and knowledge however, we need to bridge the existing gap between various stakeholders in the industry if we must take this industry to the next level. Most of the challenges confronting us today require serious cooperation within the industry and collaboration with other relevant stakeholders to move this industry forward. This is the main aspect of the changing world that we are not paying adequate attention to. I therefore challenge all the captains of the industry here present, to view this as the end of year challenge for all of us. The question begging for an answer is ‘How do we move this industry forward collectively in 2022 and beyond?

The penetration jinx needs to be broken so that the insurance industry can provide its crucial role in supporting individuals and businesses through mechanisms that facilitate resilience building for the economy at large while also making insurance profitable enough to justify the investment of shareholders.

On this note Ladies and Gentlemen, I welcome you all to the 2021 Insurance Directors’ Conference and wish you all a gratifying experience.

Thank you.

Sir. Muftau Oyegunle ACII, FIIN
President/Chairman of Council
Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria.

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