The group managing director/CEO, CHI, Mr. Eddie Efekoha, who stated this on Monday, when the executives of CIIN paid a courtesy visit to his company’s headquarter in Obanikoro, Lagos, noted that, though, insurance industry is going through tough times financially, the company will support the project to ensure the dream of having a befitting edifice for CIIN is realized.
The CIIN Building project, which has long since been abandoned because of funding issues, is located in Victoria Island, Lagos and is estimated to gulp N2 billion to complete it.
According to him, “we are all aware that the industry is undergoing recapitalization at a critical time that there is paucity of fund in the industry. Claims are piling up, and businesses are not forthcoming in insurance because they too are going through tough times, hence, could not insure and in all these, companies must recapitalize to survive, hence, our survival is paramount.
So, we will look into it, after surviving. We can’t be too specific on the amount, but we will support the initiative.”
He appealed to other companies to support the CIIN building project to ensure that the education arm of insurance industry has a good building it can call its own and generate revenue from it.
Thanking CHI for the kind gesture, the president, CIIN, Sir Muftau Oyegunle, said, his administration had to revisit the building project which started 33 years ago, believing its a legacy of the insurance industry and must be supported by stakeholders in the insurance industry.
He stated that, though, the institute had, in the recent past, tasked its individual members to raise some funds to restart the project, he added that, the initiative yielded about N200 million , which is still far off the budget.
From the proceed of the fund raised, he said, the institute has paid off debt owed some contractors, did integrity test on the building and redesign the structure to make it modern, stating that, if all these were not done, it would be difficult to start anything on the project, but that, as it is, everything that needed to be done has been done, including updating the documentation with the Lagos State government, among others.
He said, the institute has N100 million now to restart the project, hoping to raise the remain one through institutional members of the institute, which includes, insurance companies, brokers, among others.
Tracing the history of the building project, past president, CIIN, Mrs. Seyi Ifaturoti, said the foundation of the building was laid around 1987 and was built to the first floor, before funding challenges came up and since then, nothing substantial was done on it.
She said, during her administration as the president of the council, she mooted the idea of having some investors to build and own for some years before it is transferred to the institute and that two foreign investors showed interest, but financial crunch came in, and nothing came out of the effort.
“The project started well in 1987, and we did the first floor, until structural adjustment programme, Naira devaluation, and so on affected the funding of the project and so, the institute could not continue. But now, we have redesigned the structure to make it modern, did integrity test on the building. What we need now is the corporate funding through the companies,” she pointed out.