Being text of acceptance speech by Sir. M.O. Oyegunle on the occasion of his Investiture as the 50th President and Chairman of Council of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria on Tuesday July 21, 2020 at Civic Centre Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos.
I have had many occasions in my life to give thanks to God for various reasons. Today I invite you to join me in praising God Almighty for the privilege of becoming the 50th President of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria. Today will remain a watershed in my life. A day that testify to the trust and confidence my Professional colleagues and elders in the industry have in my ability to sustain the good work of my predecessors and the aspiration of the founding fathers.
I salute the past Presidents for their pioneering roles and look forward to sharing your experiences. I pray for the repose of the souls of the departed and wish those who are still with us long life in good health. My journey through life to where I am today has been eventful with many people playing one role or the other.
I cannot be thankful enough to my parents, Late Alhaji Oseni Taiwo Oyegunle and Alhaja Silifatu Adesola Oyegunle who did everything parents would do to make their children live better lives than they did. I have continued to cherish their sacrifices, and I am sure that they will be happy that their efforts and investments in me have not been in vain. I remember them every day in all I do and continue to pray for the repose of my father’s soul and long life in good health for my mother.
I also wish to state that I owe immense gratitude to the Odukale family for being my route to the Insurance Industry. In particular, I am grateful to Papa Sir. Hassan Olusola Odukale who by providence set me on the path of my journey to and through the Insurance Industry.
The decision of Papa to take me in as one of his own opened a new chapter in my life. He took me to the Insurance Industry and linked me with the Insurance Institute. That move by Papa is the reason for my being here today as the 50th President of the Institute.
While I pray for the repose of the soul of Papa Odukale, I cannot but thank his successors, from Mr. Oye Hassan - Odukale to Mr. Tunde Hassan-Odukale and every member of the Leadway family. I appreciate the Leadway family for being my pillar of support even after the demise of papa. I cannot thank Papa Sir. Hassan Olusola Odukale and everyone in the Leadway family enough.
I graduated from University of Ibadan in 1982 with BSC (Hons) Sociology. I did not have Insurance in my radar while in school and after. I had a teaching career until 1985. My journey through the Insurance terrain was initiated by my mentor Papa Sir. Hassan Olusola Odukale who took me in at Leadway Insurance in 1985. This opportunity of a new life in a new field propelled me to seek for professional qualification. My election as an Associate of the Chartered Insurance Institute, United Kingdom in 1990 marked the beginning of my professional journey.
I am aware of the challenges this office places on me especially at a time like this when the world is being ravaged by the Covid-19 pandemic. We are not unaware of the drastic disruptions of the Socioeconomic order in the world. However, I am driven by our traditional collective efforts which is built on our strong resolve to see that the vision of our founding fathers shall not be in vain.
Although we are at the mercy of Covid-19 pandemic, we cannot surrender to it. As an Institute, we shall continue in our stride to achieve desired results. However, we must adapt our strategies and change our ways of doing things.
I have come at a time we need to change our strategies to the new normal. Our reactions to these disruptions will determine our position today and in the future. These disruptions are here and it has come with new challenges that call for the reinforcement of our professional calling.
Current development in the world call for our collaborative efforts to reinforce professionalism. The Nigerian economy in general and the Insurance Industry is not immune from the vagaries of the social and economic disruptions caused by the pandemic. The resultant harsh business environment has become a threat which we must collectively confront for survival.
The theme of my presidency is therefore borne out of the conviction that we can achieve greater successes for our industry and profession if we reinforce professionalism and ethics in reaction to the new order.
The theme and focus of my tenure will be REINFORCING PROFESSIONALISM AND ETHICS IN THE NEW ORDER. The choice of the theme is borne out of the need to establish a rolling plan which will guarantee that even in the face of current global uncertainties, the Institute will continue to meet the needs of members.
Against this background, we are going to explore the potentials of this approach by focusing on a six point agenda.
1. Digital Transformation of the Institute.
2. Reinforcement of the Relevance of Professionalism.
3. Re-energizing the Institute’s Administrative Structure.
4. Insurance Awareness and Youth Mentorship Initiatives.
5. Infrastructural Development.
6. Advocacy and Collaboration with various Associations in the Private Sector.
The special circumstance of today’s ceremony will not allow me to go into the full details of the six points agenda. This will be done in my conversation with the members immediately after this event. The summary of my action plan is therefore presented as follows,
1. Digital Transformation of the Institute:
a. Completion of the Institute’s computerization projects.
b. Continuation of the E-library project.
c. Commencement of E-Examinations.
2. Reinforcement of the Relevance of Professionalism:
a. Survey and Bridging the Gap of the Technical Skills of Insurance Professionals.
b. Harnessing the Knowledge of Insurance Senior Professionals.
c. Commencement of Technical Research for the Insurance Industry.
3. Re-energizing the Institute’s Administrative Structure:
a. Collation of the Regulations and Procedures of the Governing Council.
b. Realignment of the Committees of the Council and their Functions
c. Manpower Review and Training.
d. Setting new Service Delivery Benchmarks.
4. Insurance Awareness and Youth Mentorship Initiatives:
a. Upscaling Distribution of Insurance Textbooks to Secondary Schools.
b. Donation of Insurance Course books to Insurance Department in Tertiary Institutions.
c. Consolidating Youth Empowerment and Mentorship Initiatives.
5. Infrastructural Development:
a. Completion of the College of Insurance and Financial Management’s Auditorium.
b. Moving the Victoria Island Project to habitable stage.
6. Advocacy and Collaboration with various Associations in the Private Sector:
However, I deem it proper to highlight our plan in the area of digital transformation. Efforts have been made by Past Presidents to transform operations at the Institute. The fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic has made it imperative to build on past efforts in order to remain relevant.
The programme will be pursued to create new operation process and work culture at the Secretariat. This will be with a view to create a new customer experience. This Programme will be pursued to lay the required base for the continued relevance of the Secretariat in the new order. This is what we need to do to change our Customers experiences, operational processes and business model.
Distinguished members and guests the programmes we have put in place required investment to actualize them. I want to use this opportunity to solicit for financial support from Industry stakeholders and friends to change the face of the Institute in this era of a new normal. Please oblige us when we approach you for support.
The current developments in the world at large and in Nigeria in particular call for our collaboration to reposition the profession and the Industry. This we all have to do to remain in business.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I cannot conclude this speech without mentioning the state of our dear country, Nigeria. We are witnessing worst cases of socio-economic crises precipitated by terrorism, communal clashes and Covid-19 pandemic. This is the time to rally round governments at all levels in their responses to these challenges.
Distinguished Colleagues, the task ahead is our task and together we shall achieve the desired goals. My acceptance of the mantle of leadership is because I am committed to providing the right leadership. I pledge to be fully committed and plead for your support.
Let me end by expressing my profound gratitude to the Commissioner for Insurance, Past Presidents and other members of the Governing Council and all categories of members of the Institute.
I wish to thank my Investiture Committee Chaired by Mrs. Funmi Babington-Ashaye and everybody that have contributed to the success of this ceremony.
My sincere appreciation also goes to my jewel of inestimable value, my dear wife and my children all of whom are part of the reasons why I am who I am. Thank you for your understanding.
I thank you all for finding the time to attend this Ceremony either physically or virtually.
Thank you and God bless you all.
Sir. M.O. Oyegunle
President and Chairman of Council