IN order to restore and promote integrity of insurance brokers, the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB) has promised to strengthen internal disciplinary process to ensure that members adhere strictly to ethics and integrity in all their professional undertakings.
The President of Council, Kayode Okunoren, in his inaugural speech in Lagos said the first consideration that will engage my attention as President is the advancement of professionalism in the insurance broking profession.
He said, “As the professional arm of the insurance industry, insurance brokers cannot afford to fail in being seen as professionals and acting as such. Permit me, however, to note that we shall view and promote professionalism in its holistic form. Whilst reckoning with the fact that paper qualification is the first step towards professionalism, more attention will be paid to issues such as ethical adherence, image, comportment, business relationship amongst operators and continuous education to buoy up the competencies of Brokers.”
According to him, we shall promote a blend of learning and interpersonal relationships. Whilst individual Brokers will continually be attuned to their professional responsibilities, the regime will also concern itself significantly with how brokers are perceived by the clients or the public. It may be noted that the horizon of brokers today has been significantly affected by the image clients conjure about the practitioners. Suffice to state that the wrong and degrading perception of brokers has been responsible for the wrong treatment usually meted to them in bidding for business, unlike other professionals.
The agenda of the new president include to improve collaboration with national insurance commission and other governmental bodies. He said “In view of the changing operational environment that has continued to affect the practice of insurance brokers, this administration will be proactive in relating with relevant regulatory and government institutions which activities impact on its members. Notably, relationship with the National Insurance Commission will be more strengthened with initiation of regular interactive platforms to discuss issues affecting brokers, rather than being reactive in our approach. Whilst realizing the superintendent functions of the commission, the council will push more for appropriate regulations that will recognize the challenges of survival being faced by the operators and promote the growth of the profession. Similarly, we shall strengthen relationship with other government institutions such as the FRC, the FIRS, etcetera, for the benefit of members.”
According to the NCRIB boss since, insurance broking profession cannot operate in isolation or in a vacuum, this administration will be more strategic in engaging government, particularly the three arms, to curry sufficient positive image and favour for the growth of the broking profession.
“It is a common knowledge that the broking profession is not destitute in terms of quality of net worth personalities, some of whom are either members or are serving on the board of brokerage firms; the administration will deploy strategies to hold regular interactive platforms to expose them to our common challenges with a view to solving them. This intention is anchored on the belief that whatever affects one broker will most likely affect all. Furthermore, the Council will strive to be more proactive, rather than reactive in tackling issues and threats to the collective survival of the industry as they evolve.
My team shall also be under obligation to foster the spirit of unity and collaboration already existing in the insurance industry, especially through the Insurance Industry Consultative Council. The NCRIB will play more active roles in the industry Committee for the unity and collective image of the industry”.
He told the brokers “In view of the pivotal place and role of government in growingthe insurance industry and providing social benefits to the people, the council in the course of this regime will work more collaborative with government, particularly in availing it with its repertoire of knowledge in risk management, to support relief operational efforts in the event of losses occasioned by fire and other hazards. We intend that the collaboration would be a win-win game whereby government would be able to latch in on the expertise of Brokers in taking proactive steps against disasters when they occur. It is my strong belief that government could transfer the burden of compensation to victims of disasters if insurance is given its due place. This effort will free resources for other progressive ventures and aid the prudential fiscal thrust of government.”
On the image of insurance brokers, he said, “It is a mantra that “image is everything”. The issue of projecting positive image will be given premium consideration under this administration. Aside from strengthening efforts in projecting activities of the council through the media, for all events, we shall also create events that will put us in good light as professionals. Under this regime, the Council will launch itself into the planning processes of notable institutions for the purpose of creating sufficient awareness at such fora, for the industry’s positive image. It has been observed that the Council has probably not done enough in reaching out to other professions to make an impressionable imprint.
This orientation will change. We shall henceforth go all out for meaningful synergies. If mountain, as it is often said, does not go to Mohammed; Mohammed would have to go to the mountain this time around”.