Earlier today The Herald reported plans by the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development to engage a Nigerian firm, Courtville Investments, and link them to the ZINARA database to handle the computerisation of third party insurance cover notes.
According to its website, Courtville is:
A foremost Nigerian e-business solutions and advisory company and the first in its sector to be listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), with shareholders’ funds in excess of USD20 million. Our principal focus is the development of e-business solutions for process re-engineering in all sectors and we are supported by an impressive Board of Directors, and highly technical domestic and international alliances.
Their website also shows an existing link with Zimbabwe as they provide the Insurance Council of Zimbabwe (ICZ) with e-solutions and services. The Nigerian company provides the council with an Insurance Policies Database Solution. The ICZ promotes and represents the interests of the short-term insurance industry and has 37 member insurance companies.
From our investigations into Courtville, we suspect it will provide ZINARA solutions and services based on its AutoReg Vehicle License e-business solution. According to its website:
The AutoReg Vehicle License is Courteville’s pioneer e-business solutions project. It is the automation of the Vehicle License registration process and renewal system, which is designed for all vehicle owners within a state to register or renew their vehicle licenses without difficulty and in record time.
Courtville says the system will provide the following features:
- Creation and maintenance of a credible database and provision of accurate statistics of a number of vehicles within the state.
- We have more than doubled the revenue of the states in which the business solution has been deployed.
- Quick and easy access to renewing genuine vehicle license.
- The business solution model has been able to control crime in the case of stolen vehicles.
According to the Herald, alarms have been raised on the deal as they argue it will provide the Nigerian company access to private information. The article makes reference to the Nigerian company using cloud-based servers housed in America and Europe as a security threat to Zimbabwe and its citizens.
We suspect that there is an underlying problem which may involve a tender wrangle by interested parties. In the article, the Herald mentions that the Nigerian company did not go through the correct tender procedures and has a history of underperforming.
It is interesting to note that the same company providing solutions to the ICZ, the council that represents 37 short-term insurance companies, has won a tender to now handle computerization of short term insurance cover notes, surely some form of conflict of interest may arise in the long term, they are in business with the same people they are meant to regulate.
It will be interesting to see how the issue unfolds seeing that it has been brought to the publics attention. We are still yet to identify the aggrieved party in this situation and whether this system even went to tender?