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The Speech Delivered By The Second Book Reviewer At The Book Launch

Mr Val Ojumah, MD/CEO, FBN Insurance Plc
THE SPEECH DELIVERED BY THE SECOND BOOK REVIEWER AT THE EVENT - MR VAL OJUMAH, MD/CEO, FBN INSURANCE PLC

He says he is not the High Chief, Victor says he is Lagos Chief. How do you address him? Chief Chairman.

Okay, High Chief Chairman Prosper Okpue, Chairman of the occasion; distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen.

It is a very special occasion, in the first place having worked for so many years with Jacob Adeosun. Often times, I forget he is an Engineer.

Today, we can forget that he is an Engineer; he belongs to all the professions.

Victor says Broadcasting is the only recognized profession in Heaven; good luck to him.

I am going to try not to repeat anything Victor has done. Obviously, I will be doing my presentation from another perspectives just to make sure that at the end of the day; we all have a good idea of what is in Jacob’s mind.

Honestly, having worked with Jacob, I am not surprised with what he has tried to do with this book. You know each person by his attitude to life. His love for knowledge, and love for mankind. You know that all of that are included in this book.

If you look at him, as ordinary as he looks; he’s got a lot God placed in him.

Ladies and gentlemen, I am pleased to know Jacob Adeosun personally, and on this special occasion to review this book, it is a rare special priviledge.

If you have ever attempted to write a book, anyone of you or anyone you know; it is not about your intelligence, but it is about your dedication, even with all the knowledge in your head, you will not be able to do it.

If any of you have ever been in Jacob Adeosun’s office, you will see a wide table that stretches from here to that place. All you will find are books and books and books. Many often times when I go to his office, I just look at this man and wonder how he survives. This same man, today; we are launching the book that has emanated from his head. Let us put our hands together for Jacob Adeosun.

There are not many Engineers out there that willingly, voluntarily will switch from the Oil Industry into the Insurance industry. I think this two professions are different worlds. But there are two wise men, one is the Chairman today and the other is the author.

Nearly thirty years ago decided. When Chairman Prosper Okpue decided to bring in an Engineer into Insurance Broking industry, a lot of people questioned his wisdom; “what is an Engineer doing in an Insurance broking firm”? Not a small Engineer at that matter, but this is a successful Chemical engineer actually very, very active; doing a lot of work in the oil industry.

As a young man then, I actually questioned his wisdom. Why are you coming to join us from a Dollar-based business to a Naira-based business? Now, I know a lot better. Jacob introduced Dollar –business, along with the Chairman into IBN.

Over the years, the author; who is an Engineer became an Insurance expert. The ability to combine two professions that seem parallel. I could tell you, it is not a common feat.

Some of us have tried to write three to four pages presentations. We sweat, we struggled to make sure we complete. But you know Engineers, they do not talk. They are more practical. They are not Broadcasters like Victor.

This man has been able to put it together in a most simplistic manner and that will be looked on during this discussion.

Remember the title of the book is : Risk Management and Other Professions; for all of us here who are not Engineers and who are not Risk Managers; are all captured in that “Other Professions”. That includes market women, drivers, cooks, professors, our spiritual leaders; we are all represented in this book.

And the man who wrote the foreword, he is an Engineer. His name is Isaac Olorunfemi. He said and I quote: “Risk Management and other Professions capture the need of the moment for all in every area of endeavour. The basic questions all professionals need to ask and will keep asking in everyday tasks are: the How? , Why? , What? and Where?

I think these four questions are questions we should ask ourselves every day. Some of you have asked yourself “why should I come to this occasion?” If you have decided to come, when should you come? , what roles should you play here?

The simplicity of this book is brought out in every page and every topic. And Engineer Olorunfemi captured in this five short lines of thought. It says very clearly what we do in our everyday lives. I used the word “we”, everyone. Some of you have multiple appointments, several places you need to be. You have followed the process of Risk Management and the way he puts it professionally: identify, evaluate and control.

In deciding what you eat. This afternoon, almost all of you will have a hunch, but you will still go through what has been said and arrive at what you will still be eating this afternoon. Just to emphasize the point. What Jacob has done here put together in a most simplistic manner what will help you.

Sir Victor, I think the only profession in Heaven is Risk Management.

The book was divided into fourteen chapters. And I will be commenting over a few of them, so that I won’t take your time. Victor talked about what Nigeria is going through. As a nonpolitician, I will refrain from making any statement that will qualify me as one. What has happened in Nigeria today has been captured a lot in several chapters. One of them is Corporate Governance. For any one of you here that are in the professions, let me say Other Professions; you will know the impact of Corporate Governance in your respective organizations.

He applied the principle of Corporate Governance in a simplistic manner again, that if only our leaders will follow the simple process in this book. See, look at Jacob, he looks ordinary, but his mindset is very good natured; his extreme depth in several professions are exemplified in this book. He said, and I quote him again: “If only our leaders who have extensive knowledge in several professions could apply their knowledge, we will not be what we are today”.

I am taking you in related study. In chapter ten; the chapter that interests me most- Religion. You know, we are Christians, we are Muslims and unbelievers. From my background, they call unbelievers pagans. Some people refer to them as Unbelievers. They are believers; they believe what they believe.

Jacob, in this book; without trying to take sides has made some specific recommendations. I will just read a few of these. I am doing this, so that some of us, if not all of us will take some time to examine ourselves and possibly retrace our steps. If you read this book, you will think again.

Let me take a few quotes here: “All adherents of religion in the country must recognise the right of every Nigerian to free choice of faith”. All adherents. We have a tendency to condemn other people’s beliefs. And all of you seating down here may have knowingly or unknowingly done that a lot of times in the past.

What Jacob is saying to all of us today -this is a special learning for me- is that other believers are also believers. In fact that you are a Muslim or Christian faithful does not mean that other people who are not Muslims or Christians are not believers. We are always fond of this.

He said “Nigeria is a multi-ethnic and members of various ethnic groups live and work in all parts of Nigeria”. This is something we met as young people, how we have kept that going today is questionable. What Jacob is saying today is “bring back the good old times”.

Another one: “The two dominant religions in Nigeria have been accused of noise pollution”. All of you, every area of Lagos in particular; I know about Lagos, you see these loudspeakers everywhere. If you work in Marina, some trucks with loud speakers, very large indeed blare all sorts of noise in the name of selling.

I think our representative of Lagos State Government here must check this behaviour. I know attempts were made in the past to check this early morning calls to prayers made by both Christians and Muslims and other religions. Jacob is saying here, we must consider other believers. Because, if every believer does the same thing, we shall know no peace.

He has very extensive recommendations and reading them through this book, something else excited me. Risk Management is not only for the learned, not only for the professors like Professor Ade Ibiwoye- is not only for the insurance man. The way it has been presented makes it clear that Risk Management is something we all practise every day knowingly or unknowingly. Therefore, the simplicity that is in this book, even our Okada riders that are literate in English; I will emphasize literacy in English. If you are literate in Yoruba for example, Jacob has promised me that in the near future, this book will be translated to the major Nigeria languages so that it can come to everybody that is represented.

So an okada rider going through one or two chapters of this book will get to recognize you have been doing things that you don’t know. It is going to formalize your thought process. It is going to enlighten you as an individual on how to do things better.

Today, Risk Management has been elevated to the very top of all the professions. In the financial services industry for example. If you take Banks for an example, the CBN has insisted that for you to take charge of Risk Management and for compliance, you must be a minimum of a General Manager. The Insurance Regulator also has insisted that if you are in charge of Risk Management, you must be of the grade of Assistant General Manager.

Why are they doing this?, because they have come to recognize where Risk Management can take us as a people and as professions, where it can take us to and where lack of Risk Management has taken us to.

If our leaders, I mean leaders in all professions can have a little inkling of what is contained in this book, perhaps, they will ask themselves some objective questions.

Are we doing the right thing?

Can we continue the way we are going?

Jacob has taken time to put his thoughts together in this book. It is now up to us, quite honestly and it does not matter how much the book sells. To know that people will prefer to watch T.Vs than to read. Everybody represented here is enjoined with individual responsibility to encourage not just the people around us and in particular, the young people we are bringing into the world to start reading again. They will get to read the book. As Victor’s son has started, all of you here will have absolutely no excuse.

As I have accepted to review the book today, I will be making contact with some of you, meanwhile to find out if you are reading this very book.

It will be a complete disservice to the gentle man, Engineer, Risk Manager; not to read.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am very proud of my friend, my egbon, my oga, my Risk Manager, Engineer Jacob Adeosun; the author of this book.

Thank you very much.

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