• Thursday, July 25, 2024
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ECOWAS Brown Card: Nigerian insurers engage Customs, Immigration for penetration

Nigerian insurers have begun moves to deepen the scope and penetration of ECOWAS Brown Card Insurance Scheme through strategic engagements with the top brass of the Customs and Immigrations across the West African borders.

It was in furtherance of such engagements that stakeholders after a meeting of the Joint Border Post, paid a courtesy visit to authorities of the Nigerian Customs and Immigration Services at Seme Border with a view to extracting their commitment towards making the scheme more impactful.

The engagements as part of strategic measures to create awareness, deepen market penetration for the scheme as well as reduce instances of fake certificates.

Sammy Olaniyi, executive director, Operations at Regency Alliance Insurance Plc, who represented the Nigerian insurance market on the visit to the Comptroller of Customs Seme Command, B.M. Jibo explained that there is an urgent need for all the stakeholders on the scheme Customs and Immigration inclusive to be on the same page to ensure effective implementation and enforcement of the scheme.

According to him, the issue of the ECOWAS Brown Card insurance scheme goes beyond the issue of a statute to include the need to encourage trade and movement among the West African region.

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“The essence of the courtesy visit to the Comptroller of Customs Seme Command is on how to make the Brown Card more functional and to eliminate fake. The scheme has so many benefits to Nigerians since Nigerians are always on the move. It encourages trade and commerce,” Olaniyi said.

It will be recalled that the main objective of the ECOWAS Brown Card insurance scheme is to guarantee to the victims of road accidents a prompt and fair compensation of damages caused by non-resident motorists from ECOWAS member states visiting their territory. In Europe, the Green Card, a similar Scheme, was established in 1953.

ECOWAS Brown Card Insurance Scheme was established by Protocol A/P1/5/82 signed by the Head of States and Governments of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on May 29, 1982 in Cotonou, People’s Republic of Benin.

The ECOWAS Brown Card Scheme operates through a 14 National Bureaux network spread throughout the 14 Member States. Each National Bureau plays two major roles.

The first of such rules is to ensure Brown Card availability for local motorists; National Bureau operates therefore as an Issuing Bureau. The second is to conduct investigation and settle claims arising from an accident caused by motorist holders of Brown Card. It then acts as a Handling Bureau.

The ECOWAS Brown Card is issued on the basis of the original civil liability guarantee. Thus, to obtain an ECOWAS Brown Card, you must return to the insurance company from which your usual insurance policy was taken out. Only such insurance companies are authorized to issue the ECOWAS Brown Card.