The Commissioner for Insurance/ CEO (CFI), Mr. Sunday Thomas in is address at Investiture Ceremony of Mr. Tope Smart as the 23rd President Of The African Insurance Organisaition (AIO) said that the Nigerian insurance industry is still basking in the euphoria of the presence and the message of support of His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR at this year’s AIO.
The Investiture Ceremony of Mr. Tope Smart as the 23rd President of the African Insurance Organisaition (AIO) was held at Eko Hotel, Lagos On Wednesday, 2021.
The Commissioner For Insurance cited that this is the very first time that any Nigerian President or Head of State will personally attend any program of the insurance sector in Nigeria.
He noted that the insurance sector in Nigeria and Africa will leverage the counsel and support of the leadership to up its game and take its rightful place as an instrument of intermediation.
“The founding fathers of the AIO had a very thoughtful foresight by making sure we have this forum that has over these years had achieved tremendous success in harmonising the African insurance markets and bringing together experts of different insurance faculties annually to discuss burning issues affecting the continent and the rest of the world.
“I want to say to the incoming President Mr. Tope Smart that the journey ahead may not be all smooth especially due to aftermath effect of the COVID19 pandemic and the shapes of our economies across Africa presently. There is huge task ahead of you and your team, but working with you over the years gives me high confidence that you are equal to the task and I can vouch for your hard work, resilience, foresight and determination, he added.
Mr Thomas said We will give the organisation necessary support it requires as we have always done and in return we expect that Nigeria as a member is going to reap all benefits of its membership in the organisation in line with the new strategic objectives of the AIO. He further stated that the African insurance market is in dare need of serious collaboration and synergy now than in other time in the past as we rightly agreed here that we must look inward if truly we want to make an impact. Time has passed that we rely on foreign or international support from the west and other super powers as the world at large is overwhelmed by so many issues, he stressed.
“Developing the insurance markets across Africa is no longer a choice but a necessity. Not only in Nigeria that there is huge growth potential in insurance but is over Africa that we can unite and develop insurance business there is a lot our governments will get economically.
He pointed out that the signing of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) has provided an avenue to foster unity and integration within the Africa region. It provides an avenue for achievement of a common market for goods and services; guaranteeing free movement of human resources, investment and technology.
NAICOM Boss charged the new leadership of the AIO to cap it by vigorously persuade the governments across the continent to play their roles in providing the necessary support, creating an enabling environment for insurance activities to flourish, continued lifting of border barriers making movement of resources almost impossible, promote healthy competitions amongst member states and promoting knowledge sharing across the continent among other objectives that will make insurance business thrive within the African markets.
He reminded the new leadership that by the year 2022 the AIO will celebrate its Golden Jubilee (50 years) being established in 1972 which means you can also write your achievements in gold for coming on board at this critical time. We expect to see great stride and landmark achievements when your tenure is over and the baton will change hands, noted he.
Nigeria Insurance Commissioner urged member states, Management and staff of the AIO to give the incoming President the necessary support and encouragement he requires from them in his tenure.
“I pledge the support of the Nigerian Insurance industry to your success as President of the AIO.
“I wish the outgoing President, a Woman General in time of war who has done extremely well a well-deserved rest on the successful completion of her tenure.