To guarantee prompt compensation to victims of road accident within the ECOWAS member states, the Federal Government has moved for the total implementation of the ECOWAS Brown Card Insurance Scheme.
Zainab Ahmed, The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, said this while making a statement at the inauguration of Mr Ganiyu Musa, as the chairman of Council of Bureaux, ECOWAS Brown Card Insurance Scheme, in Abuja.
While speaking on Wednesday, she noted that the existence of the scheme and its effective implementation would stimulate the integration of the West African regional block preparatory to the full implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area subscribed to by most of ECOWAS countries.
Ahmed, who was represented by the Commissioner for Insurance, National Insurance Commission, Mr Sunday Thomas, commended the initiative that welcomed the free movement of goods and services within a sub-region and promotes intra-regional investments and cooperation.
She said it was indeed a big step in the right direction for economic integration.
While the new chairman of the bureaux would be examining the appropriate governance for the National bureaux, she said, there were challenges that must be addressed if the objectives of the ECOWAS Brown Card Scheme was to be fully achieved.
Some of those challenges she listed include lack of respect for the agreement signed by member countries; delay in settlement of claims due to victims; and inadequate funding of the National Bureaux.
A few others, she added, were lack of public awareness and education; fraud in the acquisition of the certificate at the borders; inadequate commitment to reconciliation and cross settlement; low level of technology application in the distribution and general implementation of the scheme, and more.
Musa, in his acceptance speech, promised to address all the highlighted challenges bedevilling the success of the scheme, promising to take advantage of the successes already recorded to reshape and promote the scheme among West African countries.