President Jonathan bags patron West African insurance institute
President Goodluck Jonathan was on Wednesday decorated with a medal conferring on him, the Grand Patron of the West Africa Insurance Institute (WAII) by the President of Sierra-Leone, Dr. Bai Koroma, in Abuja.
The brief ceremony which held at the Presidential Villa before the commencement of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) was witnessed by both Nigerian and visiting Ministers of the sub-region and members of the Governing Council of the institute.
Koroma in his remarks before the investiture said the honour on Jonathan was in recognition of the leading role Nigeria has played in the affairs of West Africa, particularly in the support both human and financial provided the institute since it was established.
The Sierra Leonean President who is also the alumnus on the instituted noted that the training he has received from the institute has made him a better political leader back in his country.
“Today is a special moment for me, being given the responsibility to come and give honour to Nigeria and my brother President Goodluck Jonathan.
“I want to say thank you to Nigeria and to my colleague, friends and brother for making me what I am today.
“The fact that I am succeeding in providing leadership in Sierra-Leone is as a results of the training I acquired from the institute and the experience that I have also acquired from what has been happening in Nigeria.
“The West Africa Insurance Institute was established some years back. We must also thank the founding fathers of the institute and incidentally a good number of them are Nigerians.
“At the establishment of the institute, support was provided by Nigeria, most of the funding and expertise that was required was provided by Nigeria.
“Today, we are here to say thank you to Nigeria and to the President for the leadership he has continue to show”.
President Koroma noted that Nigeria has always been supportive of countries in the sub-region and specifically thanked President Jonathan for the leadership he provided for ECOWAS and Africa at large.
He expressed the hope that the honour done Jonathan would only spur him to continue to provide more support for the institute.
Responding, Jonathan appreciated the governing council, the institute and its entire members for the honour done on him and the country, assuring that the Nigeria Government will continue to demonstrate its support for the institute.
He said in recognition of the importance of the sector, the federal government designed a group insurance policy to cover its entire workforce.
“It is in the same vein that we have also ensure adequate insurance cover of our assets and property so that what we struggle hard to build, will never be wasted.
“We have learnt from recent economic turmoil that supporting transparent and efficient regulation of financial services sectors without undue interference is in our best interest as people and as nation.
“The privatization and deregulation policy of government created a level plain field for the private sector to participate in driving all sector of the economy.
“I am delighted to inform you that the exercise saw the substantial divestment of the federal government interest from two previously state owned insurance companies in Nigeria,'' he said.
The President applauded the contributions of the institute to the development of the most needed manpower for the insurance company in West Africa.
The Institute was established in 1978 by the West Africa Insurance Companies' Association in collaboration with the UN Conference on Trade and Development Content in Monrovia, Liberia.
It has the objective of training and developing technical insurance manpower for the insurance sector of West Africa.
The Institute has graduated well over 4000 first class insurance professional including President Koroma, and now has its headquarters in Banjul, the Gambia.
The ownership structure and the governing council is composed of representatives from member countries; seven members from Nigeria, four from Ghana, and three each from Liberia and Sierra-Leone.