From Ngozi Onyeakusi, Lagos
Insurance industry, last week, held a Service of Songs at the Chapel of Christ the Light in Alausa, Ikeja, last week, in honour of their three departed colleagues and insurance leaders where they paid tributes to Dr. Oladipo Bailey, Professor Moses Olorunfumi Adeyemi and Mrs Uju Ndubuisi Chukwu, for the good legacies they all left behind.
While the industry agreed that their shoes would be difficult to fill, they solace in the fact that the trio left good legacies behind, which if emulated, will grow the insurance sector of the nation’s economy.
Paying tribute to Chief Oladipo Bailey, the President, Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria(CIIN), Mr. Eddie Efekoha, said, Dr. Bailey was an iconic insurance practitioner and former commissioner for insurance, an astute professional and administrator of purpose.Stating that the deceased was a personality who helped to shape the perspectives and lives of many in the insurance profession, he added that late Bailey was an administrator of note and was quite detailed and belonged to the school of administrators who instilled discipline in their subordinates in all ramifications.
According to him, “He was a pillar in the industry and worked tediously to make insurance part and parcel of the consciousness of the government, the people of Nigeria and the West African sub-region. He was a problem solver and a bridge builder between the young and the old. He was a man who gave his all to the insurance industry in general and the CIIN in particular. He will always be remembered for his mien and gentility.”
On late Professor Funmi Adeyemi, he said, the past Director General of the Nigeria Insurers Association(NIA) contributed in no small measure to the development of the insurance industry through his legal expertise following the examples of people like Chief Joseph Irukwu SAN. “He was also the Company Secretary/Legal Adviser of National Insurance Corporation and was part of the pioneering team that took NICON to a great height. He will surely be missed for his contribution to the industry,” he pointed out.
To him, the death of Mrs Uju Ndubisi-Chukwu, who, until her death, was the Deputy Director-General, CIIN, was too sudden and shocking and it took all unaware. To make the matter worse, he said, the cause of her death has been linked to unnatural cause by strangulation.
“We have since written officially to the Nigerian High Commission in South Africa and the organizers of the conference AIO/Institute of Insurance in South Africa to assist in getting to the bottom of this. The Nigerian High Commission has in turn confirmed working with the South African Police authorities to unravel the cause of death. As the Institute work with the family of Mrs Ndubisi-Chukwu and others to unravel the cause of death, we enjoin all parties concerned to exercise patience and avoid making statement that will prejudice official investigations,” he stressed.
Paying his tribute to Professor Moses Olorunfumi Adeyemi, the Chairman, Nigerian Insurers Association(NIA), Mr. Tope Smart, said, Adeyemi, who was the former Director General, NIA, was one of the finest insurance lawyers in Nigeria, and that, many insurance professionals drew significant inspiration from him through his many books on insurance and law.
To him, “An astute administrator, consummate lawyer and an erudite scholar, his tenure at the NIA recorded many significant milestones. In fact, the Association was reported to have reached the apogee of its influence and relevance as he challenged any legislation that impacted negatively on the business of member companies. He was reported to have galvanized member companies into one strong insurance family by promoting a strong sense of oneness amongst members.”
The President, Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers(NCRIB), Mr. Shola Tinubu, in his tributes said, while Chief Bailey was a man of many parts, a consummate insurance practitioner, a risk manager and an idea generator of great standing, he added that the death of Professor Adeyemi has created a void in NCRIB, as the consummate lawyer was from 2004, was the External Auditor of his council, until he gave up the brief early this year due to failing health. Mrs. Uju, according to him, drove the CIIN Breakfast Seminar from inception as a platform where distinguished people in various fields were invited to share experience and ideas with professionals. “Uju had secured as speaker for the the June 2019 edition, Alhaji Abdulsamad Rabiu, Chairman, BUA Group, an event she was still working on while in South Africa and for which she was eager to return to conclude arrangements on before her shocking and sudden departure,” Shola eulogized.
On his part, the DG, CIIN, Mr, Richard Borokini, said: “It is bittersweet to say that we feel lucky to have shared a good part of your life with you, so much so that it is so hard to say goodbye. We will miss you Uju. We will miss you very much. Our prayers are with your family at this trying time that they find strength to cope with your passing on to glory.”
The Presiding Chaplain of the Chapel, Reverend Ezekiel Oluwadare, charged insurance industry stakeholders at the event to be united and love themselves and abide the principles of the profession, while praying for progress of all players in insurance industry.
Chief (Dr) Sir. Bailey was a London trained insurance professional of many years and a former Commissioner for Insurance. Chief Bailey was on the board of several organisations, among which are: Shepherds Insurance Brokers (Vice Chairman); Bailey Professional Training and Development Centre (Chairman); NICON Insurance Plc (Director) and Total Corporate Services Limited (Chairman).
He was happily married and blessed with children.
Meanwhile, Prof. Adeyemi, was the former Legal Adviser of National Insurance Corporation of Nigeria (NICON) and visiting Professor of Insurance, University of Gambia. The erudite Lawyer, alumnus of University of Lagos, and a pastor of Christ Apostolic Church, Ebute Meta was 77.
He was the past Director General of NIA and was also the Company Secretary/Legal Adviser of National Insurance Corporation. He was part of the pioneering team that took NICON to a great height.
Mrs. Uju was one of Nigerian delegates to the just-concluded African Insurance Organisation (AIO), but met the cold hand of death, in her hotel room in Johannesburg, South Africa. She was the Deputy Director General of the institute before she passed away. Mrs. Ndubisi-Chukwu was a dedicated staff of the Institute and was a valued member of the Institute since she resumed duties at the Institute on the 9th April 2016. She was a member of CIIN, a member of the Nigerian Institute of Marketing an ex-council member of the National Council of Registered Insurance Brokers and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Loan and Risk Management of Nigeria. She was also an active member of the Professional Insurance Ladies Association(PILA).