Kari calls for professionalism, ethical standard in industry
THE Commissioner for Insurance and Chief Executive, National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), Mohammed Kari, has called on professionals in the nation’s insurance industry to be committed to high standard of professionalism and ethical behavior in the industry so as to regain the confidence of policyholders and increase insurance contribution to the GDP.
In his key note address at the investiture of Lady Isioma Chjukwuma as the 47th President of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN) in Lagos, said if we must win the public apathy to the business of insurance, we must desist from unwholesome practices in the discharge of our responsibilities to the insured by playing as true professionals.
He said, “Current developments in the country obviously call for our collaborative effort to reposition the profession and the industry. We should not be unmindful of the perception of the insurance profession by the public. The apathy towards insurance and the way and manner the profession is being addressed need a rethink from all of us. We all know the whys, let us discuss dispassionately and agree on the way of correcting the wrong perceptions”.
According to him, there is need for a reawakening to ensure only trained personnel are allowed to practice. You will agree with me, he said, that persons and bodies without adequate training are rendering insurance services. We must embrace professionalism as core value in our industry, and to achieve that we must train all persons that carry our flags to our customers.
Kari said that as the professional arm of the industry, indiscipline and unethical practices by members should be of grave concern to the institute. Insurance professionals should be seen to uphold the tenets of the profession both in their words and actions. We must also ensure that they are regularly updated through training and retraining to enable them measure up with current global trends. Training should be of paramount importance to the institute for the development of practitioners, he said.
He promised that the commission would continue to support the institute especially in the areas of new program designs, development of new curriculum for adequate capacity building and in the training and retraining of insurance professions as is the global practice.
The NAICOM boss said, “By these remarks, I may have started setting the agenda for the incoming President and Chairman of Council, Lady Chukwuma. She is a woman well known within the industry and beyond, and I believe she would be able to consolidate on the achievements of her predecessor as well as confront the various challenges bedeviling the industry at the moment.
However, Lady Chukwuma in her acceptance speech said, “I can say without equivocation that our great Institute has attained the enviable level where we can celebrate the legacy of continuity as exemplified by the programmes of my predecessors. The cheering new era marks the pursuit of growth agendas for our great Institute over and above the promotion of any self- glorifying agenda”.
She said “The theme of my presidency is therefore borne out of the conviction that we can achieve greater success for our Institute and the insurance industry as a whole if we consolidate on the gains the Institute has made in the last few years whilst leveraging on such gains of the industry for national economic growth. As we are also aware, the global economy is transiting from the Millennium
Development Goals (MDGs) to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We are therefore on the right path and should sustain the trend”.
According to her, the following projects will be reinforced and up-scale. The establishment of the lICC and its landmark success in enthroning insurance industry unity cannot be over-emphasized. We shall reinforce the gains of the lICC, especially the sustenance of the industry mega conference of which the just concluded maiden edition will remain a reference- point. The centre shall be given further prominence through sustained publicity geared at tapping fully into the opportunity for human capital development for the insurance industry. Situating the CIIN on the global stage:
This will involve articulated efforts geared at enhancing the Institute’s certificate for global acceptability, especially by up-scaling’ the collaboration with the Chartered Insurance Institute (UK), We shall aim at achieving this through publications in the print media.
Courtesy visits will be made to key Newspaper houses to garner support for the awareness programme.
We will ensure that all necessary approvals are obtained so that our certificate holders are appropriately placed in the Civil Service structure. Further work on achieving wider coverage in the presentation and distribution of the Institute’s sponsored Insurance Textbook for Senior Secondary Schools. In pursuit of this, the following states will be brought into focus: (Osun, Delta, Imo, Enugu, Anambra, Abia, Niger, Kogi, Benue and Plateau) Publication of the book is a landmark achievement of the Institute and should therefore be given greater prominence in the teaching and study of Insurance as a subject in Secondary Schools in Nigeria.
The proposed Launching/Presentation of the Book at the National Level will also be pursued to its logical conclusion. This will focus on States within the South-South, South-East and North- Central geo-political zones of the country. The Train-the- Trainer project is a veritable platform for upscaling Insurance education and ensuring that insurance teachers possess the required skills for imparting the necessary knowledge to the future generation of insurance practitioners.
We will take urgent steps to conclude the review of the examinations syllabus with a view to commencing its implementation. It is pertinent to state that the syllabus review exercise has provided the opportunity to widen the scope of the Institute’s examinations to include Insurance Broking and Loss Adjusting routes. The dynamic business environment coupled with the increasing demands on the Professionals make the syllabus review compelling in order to further enrich the contents and technical depth of the examinations. My predecessors, Messrs.’ F.K. Lawal and Bola Temowo took firm charge of the outstanding issues which had militated against the resuscitation of the Victoria Island Building project.