MONROVIA: The ECOWAS Brown Card Insurance National Bureau of Liberia (EBCNL), has certificated six local insurance companies that have been in good financial standing with the Bureau.
The certificated insurance companies include Activa Insurance Company, America Underwriter Group (AUG) Insurance Company, Insurance Company of Africa (IA), Mutual Benefit Company, Saar Insurance Company, and SUNU Assurance Company.
They were certificated at a formal program marking the 6th General Assembly Agenda of the ECOWAS Brown Card Insurance Scheme, held at the Ministry of Transport recently in Monrovia.
Speaking at the occasion, the Political Advisor and Early Warning Focal Point of ECOWAS Commission Resident Representative Office in Liberia, Mr. Nathaniel B. Walker, emphasized that ECOWAS was deeply committed to the free movement of goods and people across its 15 member countries.
He said ECOWAS is also taking into account the safety of road users in the ECOWAS Community.
He said, for this purpose, the Heads of State and Government have set up a system, which is an automobile coverage scheme known as “ECOWAS Brown Card Insurance Scheme.”
He added that the scheme is in line with Articles 32, 33, and 34(Transport, Communication and Tourism) of the Community Treaty on Road and Motorized Land Vehicle of the ECOWAS Area.
Mr. Walker indicated that the goals of this protocol is to ensure, through the ECOWAS Brown Card Insurance Scheme, prompt and fair Compensation to victims of road accidents and for damages caused by them by non-residing motorists traveling from other ECOWAS members state to their country.
“While ECOWAS works among other things to ensure free movement in our sub-region, we are also concerned about the people who travel and seek to ensure that liabilities associated with motors that travel are also dealt with in a fair, manner,” he said.
The Political Advisor and Early Warning Focal Point of ECOWAS Commission Resident Representative Office in Liberia added that, the ECOWAS Brown Card Insurance Scheme was established to help achieve this goal.
Mr. Walker used the occasion to admonish the participants to take concrete actions that will help to give increased knowledge to the public on the significance of the ECOWAS Brown Card Insurance Scheme and also assured that her office was firmly behind them.
For his part, Mr. Jean Bernard Nteguia Fodjo, Chairman of the General Assembly, lauded the participants and said he was happy that Liberia was able to abide by and subsequently completed the payment of its dues.
He, however, expressed the hope that Liberians will take advantage of the ECOWAS Brown Card Insurance Scheme which he noted will facilitate free movement for international motorists within the ECOWAS Community and will enable international carriers to comply with motor vehicles insurance requirements in force in the community member countries.
Earlier, speaking in an interview with reporters, Mr. Sahr A. Kaba, Executive Secretary of the Assembly said the ECOWAS Brown Card Insurance Scheme was established by Protocol A/P1/5/82 signed by the Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), on 29th, May, 1982, in Cotonou, People’s Republic of Benin.
According to him, the main objective of the Scheme is to ensure prompt and fair compensation to the victims of road accidents for the damages caused by any non-residing motorists travelling from other ECOWAS member States to their country.
In Europe, Green Card is a similar scheme implemented in 1953, he added.
According to him, after a decade of individual management of the acquired sovereignties in the 1960s, the African Heads of State and Government, decided to group by region to perpetuate the gains and open other avenues for the development of their respective countries.
Thus, several community groupings have come to life including the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
Kaba, said the Heads of State and Government, concerned about the roads users’ safety, set up a system, an automatic coverage and settlement of the claims in order to encourage free movement of goods and people as registered in Articles 32, 33 and 34 (Transport, Communication and Tourism) of the Community Treaty on Roads and Motorized Land Vehicles of the ECOWAS Area.
He further asserted that the objective of the ECOWAS Brown Card Insurance Scheme is to facilitate free movement for international motorists within the community and to enable international carriers to comply with motor vehicles insurance requirements in force in the community member countries.
Kaba stressed that it will also enhance the development of trade and tourism exchanges among states and to establish a common scheme for the settlement of claims arising from free movement of goods and persons within ECOWAS.
He informed the Assembly that the Bureau will be representing Liberia in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, for the 39th General Assembly and will be a candidate for the Council.
He used the occasion to call on the Assembly to support Liberia because, this will help to once again put Liberia back on the map so her voice can be heard owing to the fact that Liberia has Right to vote and can also be voted for. Written by T.R Dixon