The United Nations Development Programme, in partnership with Milliman Inc. (UNDP-Milliman), is ready to collaborate with the University of Lagos as part of the UNDP-Milliman Global Actuarial Initiative to build actuarial expertise in Nigeria.
To this end, a delegation comprising Principal, Managing Director, Microinsurance Centre at Milliman, Mr. Michael McCord; Programme Manager, UNDP-Milliman, Ong Xie and Secretary of the Nigerian Actuarial Society (NAS) & UNILAG alumnus, Kingsley Miller, were led by the Dean, Faculty of Management Services, Prof. Emmanuel Oyatoye and Head, Department of Actuarial Science and Insurance, Prof. Hamadu Dallah on a courtesy visit to the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Folasade Ogunsola on Wednesday, November 16, 2022.
Professor Dallah revealed that the UNDP-Milliman delegation was visiting the University to work with the department on developing actuarial practice from both the demand and supply sides – the supply side being the Department, which produces actuarial science graduates.
In his remarks, Mr. McCord stated that the UNDP recognized the importance of insurance/actuarial capacity and expertise in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As a result, UNDP collaborated with Milliman Inc. to strengthen actuarial capacity and the profession in developing countries, as well as to promote inclusive development. McCord’s team will also evaluate four countries this year in order to determine what the fundamental issues are, why there are insufficient actuaries in those countries, what can be done to help initiate/modify current actuarial programs in collaboration with these countries, and so on.
He stated that, based on its findings, his team would present a draft roadmap to ensure a strong actuarial profession in Africa.
In response, Prof. Ogunsola expressed delight at the visit, adding that as it was coming at a timely period when the University has stepped up efforts to bridge the gap with industry. She cited an example of the collaboration between the Department of Actuarial Science and Insurance and Axa Mansard. She emphasized the importance of maintaining constant contact with industry in order to co-create a rich curriculum that reflects trends obtainable in the industry, particularly for professional courses.
She pointed out that in order to train students who are well-versed in industry techniques and practices, faculty members must develop competencies and capacities in modern actuarial practices. She also mentioned that the University of Lagos is looking into what certifications students can obtain before the end of their studies so that they are industry-ready and well-grounded upon graduation.
She proposed an incorporation of internship and mentorship programmes for faculty members in the initiative so that faculty can better train students. Her words, “this is more sustainable because faculty investments are long-term, as they train students year after year. This will also avail them the opportunity to build networks, gain industry experience, and thus impart industry knowledge to students who pass through them”.
Prof. Ogunsola also suggested that the UNDP-Milliman team, in collaboration with the Department, develop structures to encourage young faculty to obtain accreditation while still studying at the University.
After the courtesy visit, the team proceeded to the Faculty of Management Sciences where they interacted with members of staff and students of the Faculty.
The United Nations Development Programme is a United Nations agency tasked with helping countries eliminate poverty and achieve sustainable economic growth and human development.
The UNDP-Milliman Global Actuarial Initiative is a new initiative launched by the United Nations Development Programme and Milliman Inc. to build actuarial expertise in developing countries. The initiative which began in 2022 with four countries: Columbia, Egypt, Nepal, and Nigeria, will build capacity in actuarial knowledge with UNDP country offices in order to promote the programme at the local level.