Out of 21 students who initially started the programme 18 students from different insurance companies were on Friday awarded certificates for the Insurance Foundation Course (IFC) at the Archbishop Brosnaham memorial auditorium, Santano House.
The purpose of this introduction to insurance certificate course was to equip the students with a fundamental knowledge about insurance operations.
In his welcome statement, course coordinator- Rodney Macauley disclosed that a total of 52 students have participated in the IFC programme in Sierra Leone, since its inception in 2003, and all 7 of them who have had the opportunity to pursue the one year certification programme in insurance at the institute in the Gambia were successful. “I’m really proud to report that two of those 7 students; Mrs Marian Kargbo of the Aureol Insurance Company and Mr Solomon Sesay of the Reliance Insurance Trust Corporation, in 2005 and 2006 respectively returned home with distinctions,” he said.
He explained that the threats of global warming and the discovery of oil and gas in the sub-region are challenges facing the industry. Mr Macauley called on all stakeholders in the insurance market to take bold advantage of the opportunities offered by the institute and other risk and insurance training institutions “if we want to increase our human capital capacity to meet the challenges of this dynamic world”.
The President of the Sierra Leone Insurance Association (SLIA) Mrs Alice Onomake, in her statement said, “it is important to note that the foundation course prepares prospective students for the one year, middle management diploma course offered at the West African Insurance Institute in the Gambia.” She explained that “the role of the industry is to see our various students become professional insurance underwriters to benefit their respective companies, the insurance industry and the country as a whole.”
“I’m proud to say most of us in the industry and some highly placed individuals in the society are products of WAII. In the same vein, I will advice and encourage graduands to put into practice what they have learnt during the period and emulate the good examples of others,” she accentuated.
Special guest of the occasion, the Nigerian High Commissioner to Sierra Leone, Godson O. Echegile congratulated the graduands and wished them the best in their chosen career. “Insurance is called a noble profession and your stay there is a function of your hard work. You have chosen the right profession just follow it – put in your best and certainly you will have no regret going in that direction,” he advised. The Nigerian envoy said, “the time has come when we should share our risk and not place our risk outside the West African market- we have the capacity we have the resources and I think we have what it takes to make it happen,” he opined. Keynote speaker, WAII’s Director General- Prince Mike Ikupulati advised the graduands “I do not want you to have an IFC certificate and think that it is an end in itself, it is just a means to an end it is just the beginning. You can go a long way when you have an IFC,” he said. Mr Ikupulati disclosed that those who went through IFC and subsequently make it to WAII have always done extremely well “they normally have distinction.” “This shows the quality of training they are given at IFC level,” he maintained. The WAII Director General expressed optimism that the graduands will find their way to Kololi in Banjul. The best three students Ms Rachael Coker (85.5%), Mrs Matilda Hughes (84.4%) and Mohamed Tejan Jalloh (76.4%) respectively were awarded a cash token for their brilliance.