ECOWAS over the weekend held a day long sensitisation for stakeholders on ECOWAS Brown Card Insurance Scheme designed to foster regional integration for easy movement of goods and persons.
Speaking at the opening session at Farafenni, Ebrima K.S. Dampha, the governor of North Bank Region expressed delight in giving the opening remarks, while thanking the organisers for the great gesture.
He added that the ECOWAS Brown Card Insurance scheme is an instrument of integration set up by the ECOWAS Heads of State to facilitate the free movements of goods and services within the Sub-region.
"It is an extension of the local third party insurance policy, which allows motorists to cross national boundaries of ECOWAS countries with the guarantee that third party liability victims of motor accidents will be compensated."
He urged the insurance companies to be more proactive with their sensitisation programmes and prompt payments of claims to victims of accidents.
Dawda Sarge, the chairman national Bureau of ECOWAS Brown Card, also explained that its main objectives are to enhance the free movement of road users and foster regional integration, whilst guaranteeing a fair and prompt compensation framework to victims of road traffic accident for losses suffered by visiting motorists from other ECOWAS member states.
"We operate through a network of 14 bureaus in each of the 14 ECOWAS member states that share land border. Each national bureau performs two main functions; issuing bureau and to investigate and settle claims arising out of road traffic accidents."
Ismaila Saidy, representative of Ministry of Trade, stated that the card plays an important role towards the realisation of the development aspiration of ECOWAS member states and citizens.
"The government of The Gambia will continue to support bureau's programmes and policies to enable them to realise its goals and objectives."
Sambou Ndour, a representative of Senegal Police also emphasised the importance of insurance.
He added that the use of insurance is important because one can have his compound burned or be involved in a car accident. He argued that insurance can become useful to the person in that case.
"Both Senegalese and Gambian authorities do deal with each others' citizens but with the use of the card, it will help us to easily execute our duties, he said. "Senegal and Gambia are the same, it was just the whites that divided us but in tradition, we have ever been the same."
Saikou Gassama, representative of the Commissioner of Insurance at the Central Bank of The Gambia, said they only go for success; adding the beginning matters a lot and then progresses to succeed.