The Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, disbursed 200 million CFA ($0.365 million) to pay for cross-border claims in 2017.

During the cross-border claims settlement, insurance companies, road transport companies and representatives of consumer associations were all represented at the insurance casino in Abidjan, Wednesday, last week, whilst the objective is to raise awareness of the operating methods and the principle of the ECOWAS Brown Card among member countries and stakeholders.

Chairman, Nigerian Bureau of ECOWAS Brown Card, Mr. Tope Smart, said the issue of the compulsory ECOWAS Brown Card motor insurance payment was on the front burner of their discussion.

He, however, said that his committee resolved to conclude the third party motor insurance and Nigerian Insurance Industry Data Base issue as well as the electronic portal market issue, which they already have at hand before talking about the ECOWAS Brown Card issue to avoid making their members lose focus.

Speaking also, the Executive-Secretary of the Ivorian National Brown Card Bureau, Balamine Dicoh said the figure could increase considerably for the current year. Claims payable for the end of 2018 are estimated at 350 million FCFA ($609,187).

NICON Insurance had managed the scheme for 25 years before it handed the bureau to Nigerian Insurers Association. NIA took over the scheme established by Protocol A/P1/5/82 on May 29, 1982 in Cotonou, Benin, in 2009.

Though, the NIA backed out of Compulsory Automatic ECOWAS Brown Card Bureau treaty, which required every insurance firm operating within ECOWAS countries to compulsorily pay a certain percentage of their entire third party motor insurance account to the coffers of the bureau.

The dream of citizens in the ECOWAS region for an enabling environment for free movement of persons, goods and services and to also integrate irrespective of their country, became a reality when governments of member countries from 15 West African countries namely – Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cote D’ Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea_Bissau, Liberia, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo, signed the scheme.

The objective of the scheme is to ensure a fair and prompt compensation to victims of motor accidents and to facilitate the settlement of compensation to motorists from ECOWAS sub-region.

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