RIMSON has raised the bar in risk management, says Adeosun
THANK you very much. Education is the antidote to ignorance, recall that the Holy Book states that my people perish for lack of knowledge. Therefore, education through annual conference, seminars, workshops, public lecture and specialised risk management training; and enlightenment programmes through press releases, position papers on contemporary issues of public interest are the major steps taken by the Risk Managers Society of Nigeria (RIMSON) to enhance public awareness. For example, previous themes of annual conferences were on Economic Recovery, Security Challenges and Solutions, Risks of Climate Change, Health Care Risk Management, Enterprise Risk Management etc. Communiqués were published and circulated to appropriate stakeholders.
In what way is risk management relevant to the average Nigerian?
The average Nigerian is hungry and thirsty to enjoy basic necessities of life. More specifically, they yearn for: food every day, affordable home, basic healthcare, functional education, protection against robbers and kidnappers, electricity at home and for business, freedom of religion and association, gainful employment, means of transportation, fair law enforcement and justice system. Nigerians want their country to be in peace, amongst the comity of progressive nations with positive records and reputation.
The Nigerian State has not been able to satisfactorily fulfil the above aspirations of average Nigerians due to the failure to imbibe the culture and practice of risk management.
Risk management is the universal process adopted by private and public entities to ensure that the vision, mission, goals, targets and objectives of the leadership are systematically planned and implemented to achieve desired results in the overall best interests of stakeholders.
The incorporation of risk management processes into all activities helps to eliminate and control the potential impacts of risk exposures which often result in partial or outright failures.
What is the relationship between RIMSON and other related institutions, especially in the field of risk management and insurance.
RIMSON is a professional body of corporate entities and individuals in cordial relationship and/or affiliation with a number of other local and international professional bodies having similar aims and objectives.
Our membership cuts across all professions in engineering, manufacturing, oil and gas, energy, financial and investment institutions, law, agriculture, insurance, marine and aviation, security, health, safety and environment, commerce and industry, public service, sports and entertainment among others.
RIMSON is member of International Federation of Risk and Insurance Management Associations. We partnered in 2010 with the Institute of Risk Management UK for professional training and in August 2014, RIMSON in association with the Nigerian Corporation of Registered Insurance Brokers and the Institute of Loss Adjusters of Nigeria held a major stakeholders workshop on Insurance Claims Administrations – Challenges and Solutions. We will continue to partner with and propagate risk management practice to all professions to achieve excellence in all areas of endeavour.
Is the government doing enough to assist and entrench consciousness about risk management in Nigeria?
If we consider risk management holistically, there is a long way to go. I am not aware of Positions of Chief Risk Officer, Risk Manager, Risk Analyst etc in most government departments. Several people still see risk management as insurance.
This is totally incorrect. Risk management practice in government is still in silo. For example, we have few agencies of government like the Central Bank of Nigeria and National Insurance Commission doing something on risk management.
As regulators, CBN issues directives to banks to implement Basel Series of Guidelines and comply with corporate governance codes of practice while NAICOM issues directives to insurance companies on risk management requirements and corporate governance code.
But no arm of government should be excluded from risk management practice. It is an entity-wide phenomenon. Risks including those with potential to damage an entity’s reputation exist in several departments of every organisation. They must be controlled. I look forward to seeing when every government will evolve its Risk Management Policy, Philosophy, Framework, Structure, Risk Appetite and Risk Tolerance as the foundation for effective risk management practice.
What can you say is the compliance level of corporate institutions, especially the oil and gas sector to risk management in the country?
It will not be fair to give a blanket verdict. Level of compliance varies with the ownership, size and type of business. Multinationals lead the pack.
Most Small & Medium Scale Enterprises are at the starting line. However, the oil and gas sector appears to be more conscious of the risks associated with their business and have embraced risk management practice to a better level.
Oil and gas business is international, there are several layers of continuous risk management requirements embedded in their processes from the feasibility, investment, design, procurement, construction, installation, start up, operations, etc. They are in the radar of all stakeholders to do things right all the time.
However, risk management should be freely embraced and adopted as Enabler of Success and not a compliance or regulatory issue.
What are the expectations of RIMSON from the new government?
RIMSON expects the new government to apply risk management process to systematically address every item of the enormous challenges confronting it to ensure that the most beneficial solutions and course of actions that will deliver short, medium and long term values in the best interest of Nigerians are adopted.
The new government must encourage professionalism including the enforcement of ethical codes of conduct by all professions and institutions. The integrity of institutions and the professionals therein must be restored.
As an insurance expert too, what advice would you give the new government in the area of growing the insurance industry in Nigeria.
The key questions are: what role does the Nigerian Government want the insurance industry to play in its growth and development vision and mission? Does Nigeria want her insurance industry make significant contribution to her GDP as in UK, Germany and other developed nations? If yes, the industry MUST be empowered and strengthened to grow.
Some Governments which comply with the requirements of compulsory insurances meet the required expectation.
Are the others which refused to comply helping the industry to grow? Are ALL government building assets in all parts of Nigeria insured? If they are not insured, is the decision based on government’s risk management policy which has provided an alternative risk financing strategy in place to fund the losses? If not, government will be further burdened to fund insurable losses in the face of lack of fund to pay for salaries and other responsibilities? Governments at all levels should patronize the insurance industry and do it right.
Talking about the energy crisis which is becoming a matter to Nigeria as a nation, how can the country overcome the challenge?
Whether your choice of the word “energy” refers to petroleum or power, energy crisis in Nigeria is a shame that is uncalled for. It is one of the evidences of failure in the practice of risk management.
It is common knowledge that the systemic failure in the supply of power and petroleum products is the result of several shortcomings including but not limited to: lack of transparency, lack of discipline and integrity, lack of political will to take the most beneficial decisions and implement same, culture of impunity, choice of round pegs in square holes etc.
Beyond adoption of international best practices, policies and regulatory enforcement which must be entrusted to patriotic and upright officials, why should government and politicians be involved in power plant and refinery assets operations? I believe the new government knows the problems and will take the best remedial decisions. .
Insecurity – a serious challenge, what must be done?
This must be done in all states. And Lagos State need to improve on the present status. Security protection must be beefed up to Community Development and Street levels. The Nigerian borders are too porous, this is security risk. Only from the airports can we obtain records of immigrants into Nigeria. A risk management approach which will include detection and prevention of crimes should be part of the solution to insecurity.
RIMSON has advocated measures to deal with climate change, what has been the response?
After RIMSON’s conference on climate change some years ago, other agencies of government ( Federal, Lagos State) followed up with further expert seminars and evaluations.
I read that Lagos government took some steps to mitigate flood losses but honestly, I don’t have any details of action plan and implementation status of governments on climate change.
However, Nigeria has remained one of the luckiest nations in the world with the best climate and minimal natural disaster producing risk exposures. But we should be proactive to plan ahead against the potential effects of global warming and climate change.
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