HISTORY OF THE CHARTERED INSTITUTE
The Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (IIN) has existed since 25 th August, 1959 , though on a part-time basis, until the appointment of a substantive Registrar/Chief executive in December 1987 and the subsequent development of the Secretariat, thereafter. Since inception the Institute, has through various programmes and activities, catered for the academic progression of members in siting for the examination of the Chartered Insurance Institute of London.
But since April 1989, the (IIN) has successfully conducted her own examination for the Associateship Certificate, though it is still responsible for the conduct of the (CII) examination in Nigeria . From a modest start with 349 examination candidates in 1989, we have steadily grown over the years - for April 2000 examination, we had about 2,000 candidates submitting 5,000 scripts in all the courses of the examination, written in more than 10 centres across the country. And in October 2000, the examination was conducted, this makes it twice a year exercise.
Over the years we have benefited from the generous support of Insurance Companies, Professionals, in practice and retirement; and in institutions (Universities, Polytechnics), who served on the Institute's Council and her Committees. Our modest achievement had been due to their continuing personal interest.
The year 1993, will forever be remembered in the annuals of the Institute as the year the hopes and aspirations of the founding fathers, were realised by the enactment of the enabling decree - Decree 22 of 26 th February, 1993 - Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria Decree. This singular development has great implications for the Institute and the over generous support and assistance from all and sundry in the industry. This will in no doubt stimulate our activities, programmes and services to a standard we shall be proud of.
INSURANCE PROFESSIONALISM IN NIGERIA
Every Human endeavour, pursuit lay claims to a measure of professionalism. The same is true of insurance, whose seed was sown in Nigeria, with the establishment of the Royal Exchange Assurance Agency in Lagos in 1921.
The germinating seed of professionalism was nurtured by expertise and skills acquired formally and informally, knowledge and attitude; blossoming into a calling requiring extensive academic preparation typified by a laid down entry requirements, training and behaviour in relation to the public; raising the standard of knowledge and skill of the insurance practitioners, defending the level of their professional remuneration and jealously watching over the profession from encroachment.
While the British experience was extended to Nigeria, as part of the then British Empire, the Nigerian socio-economic peculiar situations have been responsible for the promotion of insurance professionalism. The following are developments in the socio-economic and political sphere which in one way or another affected the growth, volume and practise of insurance;
(i) transformation of the Nigerian Economy from agricultural export oriented to manufacturing;
(ii) the euphoria of independence which witnessed participations of government in insurance business.
(iii) the indigenisation Decree of 1972 and its subsequent reviews;
(iv) the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) and the consequent ripples in the financial sub-sector in particular;
(v) The general international economic situation with its attendant consequences on Nigeria . All these developments over the years have stimulated the Nigerian Insurance Market to occupy the leading position in Africa in terms of market to occupy the leading position in Africa in terms of market capitalisation. There are more than 150 direct insurance companies, five reinsurance companies and many intermediaries - brokers, agents, surveyors, claims adjusters and risk personnel.
The desire for an Institute
As the volume of insurance business increased in strength and volume, the desire to have a local chapter became intensified.
It is on record that as far back as 1955, there were 31 members including 7 Associates in Lagos and Ebute-Metta; the situation improved and as at 1957, there were 51 members in Lagos including one Fellow and 10 Associates, while in Kano, there were 5 members, with a Fellow inclusive.
It was categorically advised that at least 100 membership was desirable if any meaningful educational purposes were to be served. The difficulty of mustering sufficient membership for the formation of the local Institute was overcome as "more and more West Africans took responsible insurance appointments".
Further deliberations to garner support for the formation of the institute was intensified and assumed greater importance on local minds. Eventually it was tabled at one of the meetings of the "Nigerian Insurance Consultative Committee" and a Steering Committee was empanelled to look into details and initiative plans for the eventual actualization of the project. The following distinguished insurers were privileged to mid-wife the institute, they were:-
(i) J.W. Farnsworth, Esq., - Guinea Insurance
(ii) H.R.H. Moorfield Esq,. - Lion of Africa
(iii) T.A. Evans Esq., - Law Union and Rock
(iv) E.J. Edwards Esq., - Royal Exchange Assurance Plc
(v) R.C. Upadhay Esq., - New India Insurance Co.
(vi) R.C. Low, Esq., - Glanvill Enthoven
(vii) J.H. Day, Esc., - Northern Assurance Co.
(viii) E.C. McNestry, Esq - Royal Exchange Assurance Co.
(ix) D.B. Pritchard, Esq., - Royal Exchange Assurance Co.
(x) D.H. Hamilton, Esq., - New Africa Insurance Co.
(xi) T.A. Braithwaite, Esq., - T.A. Braithwaite & Co.
(xii) S.D. Odogwu, Esq., - African Underwriters
(xiii) A.Adebayo, Esq., - Nigerian General Assurance.
The Steering Committee eventually invited interested members of the industry to a General Meeting at which the various recommendations arrived at were considered for adoption. Consequent upon the acceptance of a proposal "that the Steering Committee be elected the first Council of the Institute and on the understanding that future election were to be by secret ballot annually", the Institute was born.
The Institute was formally launched at a colourful ceremony in the afternoon of 25 th August, 1959 at the Glover Memorial Hall, Lagos. The first meeting of the Council of the nascent Institute was held on the 1 st September, 1959 at which the Secretary was specifically instructed to clarify the following issues with CII London:-
(i) the procedure for affiliation;
(ii) the possibility or otherwise of having a local patron;
(iii) requisition for a stock of exemption and entry forms for examination entry;
(iv) enquiry as to the permissibility of the use of the Institute's crest on the letter headings and members cards after affiliation;
(v) and the formation of a library.
Eventual affiliation with CII, London
On a motion proposed by Mr C.E. Keysell, the institute's application for affiliation was unanimously approved by the Annual Conference at its meeting of 23 rd September, 1960. A commemorative plaque bearing the crest of arm of the Institute, was presented, to the Nigerian Institute by the Deputy-President, Mr D.B. Tregoning on his subsequent visit to Nigeria. Thus the Insurance Institute of Nigeria became the 26 th affiliate of the CII London, and third in Africa after South-Africa and Kenya.
Since inauguration, the Institute has existed on part-time basis with the Secretariat shifting along with the Honorary Secretaries. On the initiative of the Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM) in 1966 a number of professional bodies were invited to a meeting to explore the possibility of their putting resources together to erect a Secretariat with common facilities to be shared by all. An Institutes Building Committee was inaugurated with Mr P.G. Malons, Director, Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM) as Chairman. Other bodies represented were
1. Chartered Institute of Surveyors
2. Chartered Institute of Architects
3. Chartered Institute of Secretaries & Administrators
4. Chartered Institute of Accountants of Nigeria
5. Institute of Mechanical Electrical & Civil Engineering
6. The Nigerian Tobacco Company
7. Institute of Marketing
Mr J.H. Day, then Hon Secretary represented the Insurance Institute of Nigeria (IIN). The laudable project was stalled as the Building Committee never had more than three meetings, before it became dawn on the Institute, the impracticability of such projects taking care of the diverse needs of the institute. The different institutes took individual steps and approach in creating their Secretariats. A physical Secretariat for the institute did not emerge till towards the end of 1987, when the Nigerian examination was about to be conducted.
THE INSTITUTE AND NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
The Institute since inception has in no small measure contributed her quotas to the overall socio-political economic development of the Nigeria. Some specific instances will be mentioned to confirm this. The Institute has been in the forefront in the crusade for the evolution of a Health Insurance Scheme for the country. Position papers have been submitted as inputs into the scheme.
Again the institute's inputs were crucial in the National Provident Fund review. The institute has organised conferences on topical issues and appropriate communiqués dispatched to the relevant agencies for necessary action. Inadequacies in the Workman's Compensation Act and the Factories Act have been highlighted at various fora and submissions made to appropriate agencies.
The Institute has acted in concert with other members of the Association of Professional Bodies in Nigeria (APBN) in conducting the annual career exhibition - PROFEX for over three years now, at which school leavers and the general public are treated to various opportunities in the profession.
The Institute has been a veritable source of information to career editors of many dailies in their endeavour for professional promotion.
Conducting the Professional Examinations
The Nigerian edition of the Associateship Examination was conducted on 10 th April 1989 with a total number of 349 candidates writing the Part I Examination in 10 centres, spread over the country, This was a culmination of many years activities in getting up the secretariat, hiring the needed hands to co-ordinate, the activities of the examiners in item development, moderation and grading and in conjunction with the Examinations Committee and Council in approving the results for release.
Since the inaugural examination in 1989, the institute has been experiencing increases in the studentship registration and examination candidates. There are now over 6000 registered students and the last April examinations saw 2,000 candidates submitting 5,000 scripts for grading.
The number of candidates completing the Associateship Examination has increased since the first two qualifiers in 1992 to 23 at the last examination.
There is a burning desire to carve out an image for our examination to reflect the Nigerian insurance practices and institution. Presently our examination structure is undergoing review in scope, content and subjects. The machinery for evolving an acceptable examination structure has been set in motion.
One fallout of the quest for carving an image for the examination of the institute is the need to encourage local authors in publishing texts reflecting the local situation. This has attracted the attention of the Council
BESTOWAL OF A CHARTER
The bestowal of a Charter vide Decree 22 0f 1993 published in an Extra-Ordinary Gazette No. 4, Volume 80 of 26 th February, 1993 was a culmination of the many years efforts at securing an instrument for the promotion of the profession. Apart from being the realisation of the aspirations of the founding father, it was an overt acknowledgement, appreciation, recognition of the welter of successes, and contributions which the institute over the years have been making to the socio-economic development of the country. The Charter is a carry over of the British Tradition, dating back to 1215 creation of King John of the Great Charter (Magna Carta) and with this development, the Institute has joined other professional bodies in Nigeria, to wear that gown.
The Decree and the New Status
With the promulgation of the Decree, the Insurance Institute of Nigeria, as composed ceases to exist. To herald in the new era, a transitional arrangement, duly worked out by an Ad-Hoc Committee on the implementation of the Charter and approved by Council was adopted. The Council reverted to a "Care-taker Committee"' pending the inauguration of a Council in consonance with the Charter. This fine tuning arrangement saw the emergency of Mr Ope Oredugba as first President of Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria. The formal investiture was at a colorful ceremony at the prestigious Federal Palace Hotel on 24 th May 1993.
Organs and Powers of the Institute
The major organs through which the Institute is to perform its functions are generally laid down in the various sections of the Charter. These organs are:
1. The Council section 3(1) - 5
2. The Registrar and the Register section 8(1) - 9(3)
3. The Disciplinary Tribunal Section 14(5)
This is the supreme organs of the institute and is saddled with the administration and general management of the institute. The Council shall consist of the following:
(a) President/Chairman of the Institute;
(c) The Commissioner of Insurance
(d) Two nominees of Nigerian Insurance Association
(e) One nominees of the Institute of Loss Adjusters;
(f) All past Presidents of the Institute; and
(g) 12 person elected at the annual general meeting.
The Council has the power to do anything considered appropriate in carrying out the activities of the institute-- Section 5
The Women in Insurance
Insurance has not been an all-men affairs after all. With improvement in the socio-economic milieu leading to an appreciation and dis-encouragement of those constraints militating against women generally, more women are now employed in insurance in management cadres, than as clerks and Secretarial hands than hitherto.
No doubt, women "incursion" into fields hitherto "regarded" as the exclusive of the men, most have had a carryover effect in spurring, women to take to insurance.
Blazing the trail, was Mrs C.M. Okpaise, who in 1960 was the first Nigerian woman to have passed the CII London. She subsequently had a distinguished career at the Royal Exchange Assurance and was in 1981, elected the first woman President of the Institute. It was during her tenure that the acquisition of the plot for the Institute's Secretariat in Victoria Island was concluded.
There is no doubt, Mrs Okpaise following the fashion of her colleagues in the other professions must have been a strong force in the formation of Professional Insurance Ladies Association (PILA). The aims and objectives of which included:-
(i) To promote the image of professionally qualified woman insurer in the insurance profession;
(ii) Creating a forum for the exchange of ideas, information of common problems or matters of interest to members
(iii) Encouraging women to seek executive and managerial position;
(iv) Co-operating with other similar bodies in producting and encouraging the image of the professional women.
There is an Executive Council of (PILA) to direct the activities of the Association. The situation of women executives in Insurance has improved. There are many more Chief Executives of Insurance and Broking Firms, than before. Apart from this, the Association has for some years now embarked on career talks to some female secondary schools to arouse their interest in insurance, in the choice of future career. Prominent members of PILA are serving on the Council of the Institute and her Committees. Notable members of the Association have continued to shower the institute with their co-operation, and assistance even at short notice. A notable member and one time President of the institute donated a "Trophy" for the best female student in the Associateship Examination.
One is not too sure, if the presence of PILA is felt beyond Lagos for now, but in future, it would be desirable for her frontiers to be extended, to carry the message to the corners of the country for the overall promotion of women participation in insurance, in the future.
THE INSTITUTE IN THE FORESEEABLE & FORECASTABLE FUTURE
The Institute over the years has come of age and from a humble beginning, the acorn seed is blooming into the big oak tree and hopefully looking towards fruition in the years ahead.
The institute has contributed in a modest way to the socio-economic development of the country responding adequately to the vagaries of the economic situation at home, without being an island to international happenings.
International and National Situation
Deregulation in the economy, especially in the financial sector which is international, is happening in the face of removal of cross-boundary restrictions. The whole of Europe is tending towards becoming one country, while nearer home. The West African Sub-region is following suit soon, as a single monetary union is imminent at the end of the century, provided sufficient "political-will" is endeavours and pursuits. The line of demarcation in the professions in the financial sub-sector has been removed to a stage that can be rightly called - "Professional-diffusion" or invasion of the age-long secured and assured insurance terrain. To survive the onslaught insurance institute should sensitize the attention of all and sundry to the development, with a view of coming up with programmes to contain the onslaught. This could be a through a review of our examination curriculum to afford our Associateship Diploma holders to veer into other professions in the sub-sector. Innovation and product development should be explored and taken advantage of.
The Deregulation has resulted in keen competition for the market, which in a survival situation has witnessed sharp practices in-congruous with the traditions, norms and ethics of the profession. Being a global phenomenon, international re-regulatory measures are being put in place in the following:-
(i) the introduction of Accounting Standards for Banks and Financial Institutions and
(ii) International Capital Adequacy requirements.
The institute has an educative role to play in promoting and enlightening the operators of the Nigerian market in appreciating the need for these developments. Not that alone, the institute should initiate, sensitize programmes that can discourage the sharp practices and encourage individual members, corporate members to espouse decorum and decency in consonance with the dictates of their calling. Ethical requirements should be introduced into the Associateship Examination Curriculum and tested accordingly. Again formal admittance into the profession on passing the qualifying examination should be fashioned out, in the form of induction Ceremony at which there will be ascription to the Code of Ethics of the profession and implied sanctions in default.
There should be liaison with Consumer Protection Association in evolving a good working relationship, through regular meetings and staging of programmes of enlightenment. This should be seen as conscious efforts to increase the level of public confidence in insurance.
Contemporary Government policies guidelines as they affect the Insurance Sub-sectors should be brought to the attention of the members of the institute. Such policy should be examinable at the appropriate subject level at a later date. For example, the first National Rolling Plan (1990 -1992) stated interallia
(i) introduction of necessary control to curb introduction of obvious terms into insurance contract; this to beef up public confidence in the industry;
(ii) insurers told to relate the volume of risks to their assets;
(iii) introduction of Trade Malpractices Court to try minor grievances; and
(iv) limiting their treaties with foreign insurance companies to very risky categories such as Marine, and insurance of import/export trade.
The ECOWAS sub-regional grouping, will soon evolve a common currency by the year 2000. The Nigerian Insurance Market should be able to extend their frontiers to capture sufficiently, the market. Otherwise they would be beaten to it by their South African colleagues.
Our proposed Examination Reviews should look towards the introduction of the acquisition of working knowledge of French, Portuguese etc, which are spoken in the region.
The Structural Adjustment Programmes (SAP) with emphasis on rural development and infrastructural renewal are yet to be appreciated fully by the insurance practitioners. It is a truism, that over 80% of the population live in the rural areas.
Policies should be tailor, made to suit the situations:-
- Provision of necessary infrastructural facilities with attendant consequences on production enhancement and movement of goods and services between rural-urban centre should be exploited.
Rural based infrastructures should attract differential rates than urban based as there is a face-to-face relationship in the former than in the latter.
- there should be participation by insurers in the agricultural credit and insurance scheme; and in the National small-holder Farmer Credit Scheme, geared towards obviating the problems posed by lack of collateral for securing agricultural loan.
- Insurance companies could act in concert with Urban Development Bank on viable urban renewal programmes. This adding to the athletics of surrounding.
Implications of the legal instrument
The Charter (Decree 22 of 26 th February,1993) is the instrument conferring power on the institute to direct affairs in the insurance profession. Power is the obverse of a coin, while responsibilities is the reverse just as there is no rose without its thorn.
Section 1 (1) (a) of the Charter charges the institute with the adjudgement of knowledge and skill registrable for membership of the institute.
This will no doubt involve education, training and manpower-development, with the educational aspect taking care of knowledge training and manpower development will account for the skill.
This responsibility of "adjudgement of standards of knowledge and skill …… and reviewing of those standards from time to time …. " is the sine qua non of what the institute stands for. It can not be less and it is now more pertinent for the following reasons:-
(i) the phenomenal changes in the economy, resulting from (SAP) evidenced by the springing up of many insurance companies; and
(ii) the manpower needs of these now companies causing a drift of skilled hands from the older outfits to the new ones.
Insurers are always changing jobs, a Manager III in and old outfit fit emerging a Managing Director of a new company tomorrow. While this phenomenon is financially rewarding to the individuals concerned, in the benefits accruable from such astronomical promotion like posh-cars, inviting offices, with the latest secretarial equipment to match; the profession is at a disadvantage for the following reasons:-
(i) many company executives are prematurely promoted beyond the level of their competence. This resulting in no-adherence to the basic tenets of the practice of insurance; sharp practices etc. These in a profession that is having low public acceptance;
(ii) and cold-war between new generation and old generation outfits and chieftains and personalities. The war is undeclared but the situation is real.
The general public image of insurance is not quite favourable. This no doubt due to experiences had in the course of dealing with some insurance operatives. The battered image should be redeemed. It has been found out that majority of grouse against the insurance operatives are the many low value policy holders, whose claims are not so much and who would want to relate the small amount to be claimed, to the value of the Corporate headquarters of the company and the perquisite of office of the officials. There should be a forum for all those responsible for Public Relations in the industry to address this. Apart from that ethics of Public Relations should permeate the entire company set up. For example, Claims Managers should attend relevant courses and imbibe the spirit of adding personal touches to issues at all times. With time the public perception will change for the better. Basic of Public Relation should be introduced in our examination curriculum. The Institute can enter into a relationship with the Institute of Public Relations on this.
The history of the Institute spans over 35 years, but the Secretariat has existed on part-time basis till late December, 1987, when the pioneering Registrar was appointed.
There is yet to be appreciated the essence and centrality of the Secretariat in the realisation of the Institute's goals and objectives. Rules and realigned with the pre-secretariat; which is the mirror of profession. It should be realised that the Secretariat employees are professionals in their own right rendering services to complement those of the insurance operatives in realising the "professionals goals." The state of the Secretariat and the quality of infrastructural position will dictate the output.
There should therefore be an improvement in the provision of equipment necessary for effectiveness.
There should be an overview of the institute's aims, goals and objectives, projecting into the next century and reducible to rolling-plan for ease of execution. There in lies the hopes and aspiration that the institute will continue to be the focus of the profession.
SUMMARY OF THE HISTORY OF THE INSTITUTE
1959: The Institute was founded as Insurance Institute of Nigeria
1972: Maiden Educational Conference of the Instituted held in Lagos
1987: A substantive Registrar/Chief Executive was employed to over see the day-to-day administration of the Institute.
1988: The secretariat was formally out in lace of 104 Herbert Macaulay Street Ebute-Metta
1989: The Institute started to conduct her own examination s for the Associateship Certificate. Further to the Institute was responsible for the conduct of CII London Examinations in Nigeria.
1991: Maiden Professional Forum held at Gateway Hotel, Otta.
1992: The first set of qualifiers of the Institute produced
They were: (1) Elusakin
1993: The hopes and aspirations of he founding fathers of the Institute were realised by the enactment of the enabling Decree Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria Decree:- Decree No 22 of 26 th February, 1993.
1995: First Induction Ceremony for those who qualified form 1992 to 1995
1999: Reorganization of the Institute's secretariat. Adopted directorate system of administration according to the recommendation of the Re-organisation Committee headed by Alhaji Bala Zakariya'u and approval of the Council.
2000: The Institute moved into a new secretariat building located at 27 Lagos Street Ebute-Metta.
Conduct of Institute's examinations twice a year commenced.
This is also the year the Institute prepared the stage for computerisation.