IGI boss, Remi Olowude, dies at 63

Remi OlowudeThe Executive Vice Chairman, Industry and General Insurance Plc, Mr. Remi Olowude, has passed on at the age of 63.

He died in a hospital in the United States of America on Saturday after a prolonged battle with a cancer-related ailment.

The Senior Manager, Corporate Communications, IGI, Mr. Steve Ilo, who confirmed his death, said via a text message that “I can confirm that Our Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Mr Remi Olowude, has passed on. Further details will be contained in the statement to be issued shortly by the family and the management of the IGI group, which he founded.”

Born in 1951, Olowude deployed his multi-disciplinary background, professionalism and vision to build a conglomerate with interests in various sectors of the Nigerian economy.

One of them is IGI, which was incorporated as a limited liability company on October, 31, 1991 and commenced operation in January 1992.

He was the chairman of the Nigerian Insurers Association between June 2012 and June 2014.

Some operators who spoke about his death said he would be missed in the industry.

The President, Institute of Loss Adjusters of Nigeria, Chief Lebi Omoboyowa, said Olowude was intelligent, hardworking, brainy and a shrewd businessman.

Omoboyowa, who described the deceased as his friend, added that Olowude was someone who had listening ears and knew how to go about his business to get what he wanted.

The Chairman, Nigerian Insurers Association, Mr. Gus Wiggle, who expressed shock at the insurance guru’s death, saying the industry was expecting him to recover from the illness and return fully to business. “But death did not allow this to happen. It is sad,” he said.

He described him as a role model and a mentor to many people.

The NIA boss said Olowude believed in individual capability and would always want to go for the best.

“Words are just not enough to say so much about what Olowude was to the industry because of whether we like it or not, he was one of the finest brains that passed through the industry, he used insurance to promote sports,” he said.

Governors Rauf Aregbesola (Osun) and Babatunde Fashola (Lagos) also mourned him.

“The death of Chief Remi Olowude is a sad one to us in Osun. Here is a man of immense qualities, which he had employed to promote everything ideal in his lifetime.

“Olowude, unarguably, distinguished himself in the insurance and business sector to the extent that his name became a household name across the country.

“Throughout his sojourn on the earthly surface, he distinguished himself as a man of immense wealth, a perfect gentleman and an Omoluabi per excellence, which is what Osun epitomises.

“There is therefore, no gainsaying the fact that Olowude’s exit would create a huge gap in the business and insurance sector in Nigeria,” Aregbesola said in a statement by the Director, Bureau of Communication and Strategy, Office of the Governor, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon.

Speaking through a release signed by his Special Adviser on Media, Mr. Hakeem Bello, Governor Fashola described Olowude’s passage as a great loss to the insurance industry in particular and the world of entrepreneurship in general.

According to the Governor, as the Executive Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of IGI, Chief Olowude contributed in no small measure to the development of the country’s insurance sector and indeed, to the creation of economic opportunities for the teeming skilled workforce in the industry.

While condoling with the widow, the family and the entire staff, board and management of IGI on behalf of the Government and people of Lagos State, Governor Fashola prayed to Almighty God to grant Chief Olowude’s soul sweet repose and to abide with all members of the family left behind.