National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has agreed to fund the construction of a building in the University of Uyo to accommodate the insurance department of the University.
The Commissioner for Insurance Mr. Sunday Thomas made this disclosure in Abuja yesterday when he signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with authorities of the University of Uyo.
Mr Sunday Thomas said the Commission will apply “the proceeds of its Education Fund to provide financial assistance to tertiary institutions with a view to promoting insurance education and human capital development in Nigeria”.
In agreeing to finance the construction of the building, he noted that “this is a knowledge-based sector and we realized that as the days go by vulnerability increases in which case, we need to develop products that will be able to meet the need of the populace and we need creative ideas.
“We need those who are cerebral to be able to reach out there and package things, products and of course the starting point is to get the knowledge, that is why we are bending backwards to develop the minds that will be able to not only teach, because part of those who are going to be beneficiaries will remain in the institution to teach others, some are going to come into practice, they need that knowledge, that is why we have ventured into this”.
He added that NAICOM will be “doing it across the country and we believe that the more of this we do the more people get educated about what insurance is and of course the result will show”.
The funding for the building he said will be “given in tranches, the total amount will be determined at the end when the construction is commissioned”.
The financial assistance he said will be “applied to support tertiary institutions in the areas of: establishment of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Centre; scholarship for Master’s and Doctorate degree; provision of text books and journals on insurance and other related fields.
Others include: construction of Administrative and/or Vocational offices (structures); sponsorship of professorial endowments and sponsorship of accreditation for tertiary institutions interested in offering insurance as a course of study.
Mr Sunday Thomas who did not disclose how much will be spent on the building said the value of the building “is the linkage that is created in human capital development which cannot be quantified”.
Also speaking at the event, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Uyo, Professor, Nyaudoh Ndaeyo said University of Uyo is one of the Universities in Nigeria that opted to offer Insurance programme in the university.
He said NAICOM graciously offered the University “a helping hand by giving us a building. We are here to sign Memorandum of Understanding and to also show appreciation on our part because they have trained our staff beyond what we have shown to them”.
Prof. Ndaeyo noted that “students or candidates hearing that a building is coming, that alone has led to an increase in the intake of students in that programme, everybody wants comfort so the coming of the building, offices for staff and classrooms for students is quite a commendable one”.
Reacting to the warning given by the Commissioner for Insurance that funding for the project will be released as work progresses and upon satisfactory completion of each stage, the University of Uyo Vice Chancellor said the University “is a brand. You cannot be a brand if you don’t have integrity so we know we have to protect that name to ensure that we maintain the quality”.
To ensure transparency, tertiary institutions were selected based on the following criteria: all beneficiary institutions must be offering Insurance and/or Actuarial science at degree or National Diploma level; only institutions owned by Federal and State Governments were considered and only institutions with existing infrastructure, staff and department with insurance education were qualified.
Other considerations include: each geopolitical zone was qualified to get slots; all beneficiary institutions must have been physically inspected and certified by the Commission to ensure compliance and all successful institutions were required to sign an MOU to ensure compliance with terms of the award.
After the signing of MoU, the speed at which the fund is released is highly depended on the Institutions ability to document and/or speed up the work/project involved.