THE Federal Government of Nigeria through the National Insurance Commission of Nigeria (NAICOM) said they are solidly behind Mr. Tope Smart as the incoming President of the African Insurance Organisation (AIO).

This is just as other Nigerians and stakeholders in the nation’s insurance industry have indicated their supports for Mr. Smart as the President of AIO.

Head, Corporate Communications and Market Development, Salami ‘Rasaaq, speaking in an interview with our correspondent on the forthcoming AIO General Assembly in Nigeria and the inauguration of Mr. Tope Smart as the President of AIO, said NAICOM is solidly behind Mr. Smart as the AIO President, adding that the Commission would do everything possible to ensure his success.

According to him, as the nation’s insurance regulatory body and also as a player in this market, we wish him well. We will support him to succeed.

“The AIO has come a long way. We believe that Tope Smart with his wealth of experience having occupied several leadership positions in the past, as the past Chairman of the Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA), and as the Group Managing Director of Nem Insurance Plc, has the wherewithal to pilot the affairs of the AIO and take it to the next level.  We believe very strongly that he will bring his wealth of experience to bear in this job,” he added.

On the benefit of the conference to Nigeria and Nigerians, he said “With the event holding in Nigeria and a Nigerian on the driving seat of the Pan-African Organisation, the Nigerian insurance industry will benefit immensely. It will also have a multiplier effect on the nation’s economy.

“The benefit of the conference will go beyond the insurance industry alone. Of course, the tourism and hospitality industries are going to benefit as well.

“Our expectations from the new AIO President are for him to take the AIO beyond the present level; ensure regional integration and cohesion by ensuring various blocs come together to work as a team. We expect that he will be able to come up with initiatives that will enable indigenous African insurance companies to compete effectively with their counterparts globally,” Mr. Salami stated.

Meanwhile, those who have already expressed their support for Tope Smart based on his experience include the President Emeritus, Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), Chief Sunny Nwosu, Executive Secretary and Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB), Mr. Tope Adaramola, The Deputy General Manager, Sales and Corporate Communications, Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc, Mr. Olusegun Bankole.

They made their views known in an interview with this medium on the forthcoming AIO General Assembly taking place in Lagos, Nigeria from September 4 through 8, 2021.

According to Chief Nwosu, “For me I think Tope Smart is very experienced coming a long way and bringing up Nem to where it is today, so with that background, I don’t think he will have too much problem as President of AIO.

It’s a matter of experience. He knows the Nigerian insurance industry inside out. AIO is a coordinating organ. The role of coordinating is the bringing up the Insurance industry in Anglophone and Francophone countries in Africa to work together. It’s definitely going to be a very tough job in coordinating this because of the jurisdictions.  I believe that when they start looking at case studies, the Anglophone and the Francophone (French and English) there will be a value to be taken from there. But I strongly believe that Tope is capable of adding value to whatever he met on the ground,” Chief Nwosu said.

Also speaking, Executive Secretary/CEO, NCRIB, Tope Adaramola said, “It is very heartwarming that Nigeria is again given the opportunity of producing the President of AIO in the person of the Group Managing Director, Nem Insurance Plc, Mr. Tope Smart. As you are quite aware, Mr. Tope Smart has the required pedigree in the industry, having been a very strong player, Managing Director for close to twenty years, and Chairman of the Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA).

“In terms of professional contributions, he is not a man that the insurance industry in Nigeria can whisk away. Having him as the AIO President is a big plus. It’s also an image plus for the Nigerian Insurance industry within the continental ecosystem.”

While lending his voice on the matter, Segun Bankole, said “I believe Mr. Tope Smart with his wealth of experience will do Nigeria proud as the President of the AIO.

“The Nigerians will rally support for him. And all hands must be on deck to ensure his success; we believe for him to have gotten to that position he is well prepared and ready for this job, and Nigerians are solidly behind him because for a Nigerian to be in that enviable position as President of AIO is a welcome development for Nigeria and the insurance industry.”


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