By Patience SAGHANA
The nationâ€™s insurance industry lose one of its own to the pangs of death as Chief John Akin-George passed away on April 27, 2010.
Mr Fola Daniel, Commissioner for Insurance described the death of Chief Akin George as a crude blow to the business world and the insurance industry in particular. In the words of Daniel, â€œChief Akin-GeorgeÂ was a giant and a repository of insurance history and practice. May God grant him eternal restâ€
Dr. Teslim Sanusi,Â President of the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers said that he was personally rattled by the sad news in view of â€œmy personal closeness and adoration for the deceased as a Past President and elder as well as a motivating factor of our Councilâ€.
Sanusi vividly described the deceased as the patriarch of the broking profession in Nigeria whose record of service would be difficult to match â€œI use this medium to reflect on the life of the deceased, particularly his record of service and his boundless enthusiasm for whatever task he took in hand in the Council and in other spheres of lifeâ€
The NCRIB boss noted that no one who had the privilege to know Chief J Akin George or work with him, is likely to forget in a hurry the candour of his speech, the courage of his faith as well as his tenacity of purpose, even in the face of the stiffest opposition.
â€œHe never dodged a responsibility, never refused to take on a hard job if it needed to be done, even in his revered position as a Past President of our Council. He saw to it that no stone is left unturned in ensuring that the insurance broking profession in Nigeria is reputed for professionalism and excellence. Chief Akin George fought hard for every cause in which he enlistedâ€.
Barrister Laide Osijo, Deputy President of the NCRIB who was shocked by the news of the deathÂ of Chief Akin George described him as a father and key motivator of her successful career in insurance industry. Said she, â€œI cut my professional teeth with his company, Marine and General Insurance Company Limited in 1972, during which time he persisted I must study for my professional certificates in insuranceâ€.
Born on June 24th 1932 to the family of late Deacon James Adeboye George and Chief Mrs. Elizabeth George, Akin George had his secondary education at Baptist Academy Lagos after which he had a brief stint as clerical staff with the Bank of British West Africa Limited now First Bank of Nigeria Plc, from where he later transferred to the Royal Exchange Assurance Company Limited, and remained there until 1966 when he left for England to further his education.
While attending the College of Insurance London where he graduated in 1960, he garnered experience between 1957 and 1960 as a clerk at Dominion Insurance Company Limited; Wills Fabers Insurance Brokers and BD Cock and Partners Limited, all in London.
A Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Insurance (FCII) and an Associate Insurance Brokers (ACIB) since 1962.
Chief Akin George also holds the Fellowship of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria and that of the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers, FCIB, a body he served meritoriously as its second President from 1979 to 1986, succeeding the doyen of the insurance industry in Nigeria, Mr. Talabi Braithwaite. He also served as President of the Chartered Insurance Institute (CIIN) in 1972.
He established J Akin George & Co (incorporated Brokers Limited) in 1960; Sierra Leone Insurance Brokers Freetown Sierra Leone in 1964; Marine and General Assurance Company Limited in 1969 and the United Insurance Brokers Limited London in 1973. He was the Chairman of the defunct Marine and General Assurance Company Limited.
An entrepreneur per excellence, Chief Akin George joined the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industries in 1964 and rose to become the President of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industries Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA). He was a Fellow of the West African Chambers of Commerce. He was also the Chairman of African Insurance Brokers Association (AIBA), until his death.