June 15, 2009

And the Crown Prince Bows Out

By Patience Saghana
After a meritorious 24 months reign as president of the 50-year old Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria, Mr. Adeyemo Adejumo, will on June 19 hand over the mantle to a new president of the Institute, Patience Saghana writes

For Mr. Adeyemo Adejumo, the 42nd president of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN) will on Friday this week handover the mantle as CIIN president having served two unforgettable years as the institute president.

But one thing is certain and that is the fact that Adejumo’s finishing line as president of CIIN will for a long time to come remain the envy of all and every member of the insurance profession in Nigeria. Those who call Adejumo a miracle worker are as correct as those who refer to him as the new crown prince of the insurance profession.

As managing director and chief executive officer of Continental Reinsurance Plc, Mr. Adeyemo Adejumo can be adjudged a success.

But many insurance practitioners in the country today will not hesitate to declare that Mr. Adejumo’s 24 month reign as president of the 50 year old Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN) has more than amplified his contributions to the growth and indeed, development of the practice of insurance in Nigeria and even beyond.

It may not have been a mere coincidence that providence conferred on Mr. Adejumo the honour of sitting on the throne for the CIIN’s golden jubilee anniversary celebration, a land mark event which serves as the icing on the cake as he plans his handover to the 43rd president of the institute this Friday, June 19, 2009.

If truth must be told, Mr. Adejumo impacted so much in uplifting both the human and infrastructural base of the CIIN within the two years that he held sway as president. Not even the various state chapters of the institute would want to forget him in a hurry as he transverse the entire federation establishing chapters and resuscitating existing ones.

In all these, Mr. Adejumo will in all intents and purposes be holding high his head as the body of past presidents attempt to pull off the presidential veil off his broad shoulders come Friday night to mark the end of an era.

Adejumo is one of the very few chief officers in Nigerian insurance industry that deserves every accolade that they could get. He has conscientiously work his part and duties to the point that he now stand tall among his peers.
Those who will want to describe him as the new crown prince of the insurance business may have their good reasons. The mere fact that Adeyemo has associated himself with everything that is successful points to the fact that he constitutes a major building block for sectoral growth.

In the last two years that Adejumo held sway at CIIN; he was able to provide a vibrant leadership to the governing council with a record of council meetings with far reaching policies.

It is on record that CIIN under Adejumo was able to forge stronger bonds with Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA), Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB), Institute of Loss Adjusters of Nigeria (ILAN) and many other insurance companies.

The bonds paid off with a new and forceful human capital agenda including the planned recruitment of 5,000 graduates into the Industry by 2017 as well as support for firm anchorage of the College of Insurance and Financial Management.

Plan was concluded under his leadership of the Institute to add another offshore examination centre in Sierra Leone. This followed a successful visit to Ernest Bai Koroma, who is the President of Sierra Leone.

There was equally a fruitful partnership with the media culminating in the intitutionalisation of merit awards for journalists with a Media Retreat to cement the bonds of relationship.

The Institute also witnessed a re-branding of its secretariat with enhanced corporate profile as the committed Continental Re funded the installation of internet facilities, bought new buses to replace old ones, replaced all official cars with new ones thus ending the era of purchase of used cars, bought laptops for all key staff.

Staff Welfare was unprecedented, as staffers were provided with housing loans and enhanced salaries/allowances. The secretariat justified its efforts in virtually all segments of its operations with a quantum leap in revenue earnings.
There was also a greater partnership with the insurance industry’s regulatory body, the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM).

The signing of the addendum to the Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) contract of the Institute’s proposed Victoria Island Building Project and sealing of plans to commence construction of a 20 storey ultra modern edifice was also carried out under the headship of Adeyemo.

It would be noted that the institute was established in 1959, making it the oldest professional body in Nigeria today. The institute has grown slowly but steadily over the years, making giant strides and achieving significant milestones hence the governing council resolved that the events marking the Golden Jubilee celebrations cannot and should not be a one day affair thus stretching from January this year to June with the Friday’s scheduled investiture of Mr. Sunny Adeda as the new president standing as the high point.

One must add that many of the programmes lined up for the Golden Jubilee has successfully held.
The Anniversary Luncheon, which was held on 2nd April in Lagos, was particularly a remarkable gathering of the crème of our noble profession and provided the rare opportunity to meet with and share the reminiscences of the great men and women whose pioneering efforts provided the building blocks for what has now become the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria, a rallying force for insurance practitioners in Nigeria. Also remarkable, was the Miss Insurance Dance held on 27th March in Lagos at which the winner, Miss Brenda Nwakanma was presented with a car, donated by Goldlink Insurance Plc.

It is pertinent to point that the Institute faced obvious challenges and scaled hurdles in its path of history and despite these challenges, the Institute has emerged a stronger and more virile body with evidence of successes in virtually all spheres of its development.

There is no doubt, that the stakes are becoming higher in insurance business.  These challenges emphasizes  the need for greater efforts in the area of human capital development, requiring skills recreation and the redefinition of service delivery values and expertise through sustained insurance education.

The Institute will remain key in all of these pursuits and will not rest on its oars in ensuring that practitioners continue to receive the best learning experiences necessary for the dynamic business environment of today.

Adeyemo’s motivation which has driven him to success stems from his desires, compelled by a genuine inner urge to contribute as an individual to the growth of an industry which has made him what he is today, a successful career man.

As Adeyemo once noted, “let it be stated that it is no longer tenable for any corporate entity to hold back on the development of its human capital on the excuse of cost, if only to bear in mind the unquantifiable damage of mis-governance owing to poor exposure and lack of training”.

Often called Mr. MCPD, Adejumo during his reign enhanced the profile of the CIIN’s Mandatory Continuing Professional Development (MCPD) programme, making it sine qua non for elevation to the fellowship status.
He also put premium on the Institute’s Professional Examination, to reflect the developments in the business and practice of insurance.

Adeyemo with over 30 years of insurance and financial services experience is one of the Nigerian’s accomplished professionals.

Although very humble and unassuming, his contribution speaks volume of a man with a Midas touch. Adeyemo was president of Professional Reinsurers Association of Nigeria (PRAN), Treasurer, West African Insurance Companies Association (WAICA), Chairman, Finance Sub-Committee, African Insurance Organisation (AIO 2000), Chairman Mandatory Continuous Professional Development (MCPD) Committee of Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria.

He is also an active member of the Membership and professional Standard Committee of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria and member of the Institute’s Education Committee which he served as Chairman for several years until he was elected Deputy President in 2005 and in 2007 took over as the institute 42nd president.

Yet, the Continental Reinsurance company which Adejumo manages is the model of a going concern. The last recapitalization exercise which saw the company raising its share capital to well over N10 billion has come to confirm the confidence which investors have in Continental Re. and by extension, Mr. Adeyemo Adejumo.

EMP African Fund 11 PCC based in Washington, Rashed Abdul Rahman Al_Rashed and sons of Saudi Arabia, the CDC Group plc based in London, Investech Asset Management of South Africa, Genesis Asset Managers based in London, SONAR of Burkina Faso, Wealth Managers of USA, and NICON Insurance are part of the high wired investors participating in Continental Re. And that is Mr. Adejumo’s magical hands at work.

If he could do it for Continental Reinsurance Plc, nothing less followed the CIIN during the Adejumo era.
The truth of the matter is that the Adejumo factor contributed in the uplifting the affairs and fortunes of the CIIN