Documents in possession of the Daily Observer have established that the Cusworth International Business School (CIBS) is not a ‘fake’ degree granting institute as reported earlier, rather, they are an institution accredited to offer advanced diplomas in Insurance and Risk Management.
During one of their routine exercises recently, officials from the National Commission on Higher Education (NCHE) reported the existence of a ‘fake degree’ granting institution in the country that included the CIBS.
The CIBS is being administered by its president and founder, Dr. Austine U. Okafor, managing director and chief executive officer (CEO) of International Insurance Company (Liberia) Limited.
However, documents in possession of this paper indicated that the CIBS, located on Sinkor 20th Street on Coleman Avenue in Fiama-Monrovia is a Pan-African Business School, and a professional insurance institution with study centers in Nigeria and South Africa respectively.
As such, CIBS is duly incorporated in Liberia as an indigenous institution and is registered with the Bureau of Technical and Professional Education with the highest professional accreditation level up to advanced diploma in the fields of Insurance and Risk Management.
The institution was in March 2013, accredited by the Ministry of Education (MOE) with registration number 0300, through the Bureau of Technical Education to award up to advance diploma being business professional institutions like Charter Insurance Institute of London (CII), Institute of Charter Management Accounting (ICMA) and Institute of Charter Accounting of Nigeria (ICAN), among others.
It is also established that the CIBS has affiliation in other tertiary institutions in Monrovia and the Anointed University in South Africa. By those memorandums of understandings (MOUs), CIBS operates as a study center for these establishments.
According to our investigation, at the end of the training programs, the students are necessitated to meet accredited requirements of those universities whose exams the students must write, and if successful, the diploma or the certificate (not degree) are awarded to them by the respective universities, but not the CIBS as was earlier perceived.
Furthermore, CIBS seeks to fill the gap created by the absence of the West African Insurance Institute (WAII) to operate as a professional insurance training entity in the rebuilding process of post-war Liberia.
Following the cessation of hostilities in the country, there was no university or higher institution of learning that offered insurance studies as a discipline, which poses a great challenge in the area of human capacity-building in the insurance industry; this is why the CIBS was established.
It can be recalled that in 1990, the WAII was relocated to Banjul, The Gambia from Liberia due to the intensity of the Liberian civil crisis.
CIBS, no doubt, applied to the Association of Insurers in Liberia (AIL) who embraced the CIBS’ concept to operate as professional insurance institution, thereby recommending the entity to the Bureau of Insurance at the Ministry of Transport through the office of the Commissioner of Insurance, who was the regulator of the Insurance industry in the country at the time.
The bureau, according to our investigation, approved CIBS to operate as a professional insurance institute for the benefit of the insurance industry.
Not only that, CIBS also applied to the MOE through the Bureau of Technical Education, who awarded CIBS the license or permit to operate in Liberia. It then received accreditation from the MOE to award basic intermediary and advanced diplomas.