The Managing Director/CEO, Heirs Life Assurance (HLA), Niyi Onifade, has called for a deliberate and urgent effort in grooming the next generation of insurance professionals to transform the industry. He made this charge while addressing graduates of the Institute and delivering the keynote speech at the 2022 Induction and Award ceremony of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN) on Wednesday, December 7, 2022, at the College of Insurance Financial Management in Ogun State.
Onifade joined the President/Chairman of Council, Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria, Mr. Edwin Igbiti, past council presidents and other dignitaries at the auspicious ceremony, celebrating over 150 newly inducted chartered professionals.
Speaking on the topic “The Professional: Key Player to a Sustainable Insurance Industry,” Onifade congratulated the new inductees and awardees, highlighting the significant role insurance professionals play in sustaining the economy.
According to him, “The insurance professional is one of the most essential professionals in the context of the global economy. We play a key role in sustaining the economy by protecting the means of livelihood of millions of people – both in terms of lives and possessions.”
He charged the inductees to be good ambassadors of the profession by upholding the code of ethics and acting with the highest professional standards and integrity. He added that the new status comes with certain responsibilities and expectations, imploring them to adhere to relevant laws and regulations governing the affairs of the industry.
Speaking on transformation, Onifade made a case for a joint vision statement by the insurance industry. According to him, underwriters need to do more to encourage Nigerians to adopt insurance as a lifestyle.
He said: “I would like to advocate for the adoption of a common Vision Statement for our industry. I recommend an industry Vision Statement that reads like this: “To make insurance a lifestyle in Nigeria.” This should be adopted by all our industry players – insurance companies, brokers, loss adjusters etc. When insurance becomes a lifestyle, every Nigerian would remember to add insurance premium to his budget list.”
He concluded by commending the efforts of the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN), and industry bodies such as the Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA) and National Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB), towards deepening insurance penetration in the country but called for more efforts across board. “We are very proud of the great work that the Commissioner for Insurance, Mr. O. S. Thomas, and his team are doing to change the face of our industry. Industry bodies are also doing well in this respect, but so much remains to be done. We need to do more, and we can do more, as an industry.”
A Fellow of both the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria and London, Niyi Onifade has three decades of cognate experience in insurance and pension management. He is a multiple award winner and became the first Nigerian (and the second African) to bag the coveted Rutter Medal Award of the Chartered Insurance Institute, London, in 2003.