The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has announced plans to construct a building to accommodate the Department of Insurance in the University of Uyo.
The Commissioner for Insurance Sunday Thomas made the announcement on Thursday in Abuja at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with authorities of the University of Uyo.
Thomas said the Commission would 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”.
The decision to finance the construction of the building, Thomas said was in recognition of the need to contribute to the development of the knowledge-based sector.
“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, but go into the practice, because part of those who are going to be the beneficiaries of the knowledge<, will remain in the institution to teach others, while some will need that knowledge. That is why we have ventured into this," he said. NAICOM, he added, would undertake to construct similar buildings across the country, adding that the Commission believed the more of this that is done the more people get educated about what insurance is, and of course, the result will show. The funding for the building, the NAICOM boss said, would be given in tranches, with the total amount to be determined at the end when the construction is completed and the building commissoned. The financial assistance, he said would be applied to support tertiary institutions in the areas of establishment of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Centres; provision of scholarship for Master's and Doctorate degree; provision of text books and journals on insurance, and other related fields. Others include the 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. Thomas said the value of the building in the linkage that would be created in human capital development would be difficult to quantify. The Vice Chancellor of the University of Uyo, Nyaudoh Ndaeyo, who expressed appreciation for the gesture by NAICOM said University of Uyo was one of the Universities in the country that have opted to offer Insurance programme in their academic curriculum. Ndaeyo 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". The VC noted that the mere faxt that students or candidates were hearing about the coming of a building in the insurance department 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," the VC said. On the warning by the Commissioner for Insurance that funding for the project would be released as work progresses and upon satisfactory completion of each stage, the Vice Chancellor said this would be a challenge for the University to protect its name to maintain the quality. "University of Uyo 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," he said. To ensure transparency, he said tertiary institutions were selected to benefit from the initiative to encourage all institutions to offer Insurance and/or Actuarial science at degree or National Diploma level. Other criteria to benefit from the programme was that institutions must be owned by Federal and State Governments, while only institutions with existing infrastructure, staff and department with insurance education would be qualified. Other considerations included 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 would released would depend on the Institutions ability to document and/or speed up the work/project involved. Also present at the MoU signing ceremony were the Registrar of the University,Aniediabasi Udofia, who conveyed the University's appreciation to NAICOM, and the Head, Department of Insurance and Risk Management,Sunday Akpan.