Business

Ikoyi building collapse: Underwriters tackle developers

For neglecting their campaigns over the years to embrace the provisions of Compulsory Insurance policies, especially with regard to public buildings and those under construction, the leadership of Nigerian insurance sector has flayed the attitude of estate developers.

This is as a sequel to the collapse of a 21-storey building under construction in Ikoyi, Lagos, where not less than 20 people have so far beenconfirmed dead. While comiserating with the families of the deceased, the Commissioner for Insurance and Chief Executive of National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), Mr. Sunday Thomas, recalled several efforts the Commission had made to ensure private developers and individuals take policies to protect third party victims in the event of a disaster such as the Ikoyi incident and others before now. Also reacting, the Nigerian Insurers Association described the tragic collapse as painful and a big loss to the country.

A statement by the Director General, NIA, Mrs Yetunde Ilori, said the association commiserated with the families who lost loved ones in the sad event and wishes those hospitalised quick recovery. While observing the worrisome reoccurrence of building collapse in the country, NIA emphasised the need for the general public to comply with all building rules and adopt insurance in the protection of lives and property to curb further incidence of building collapse. According to the country’s statutory laws, Section 65 of the Insurance Act 2003 stipulates that all public buildings shall be adequately insured, while Section 64 of the Act provides that all buildings under construction above two floors shall be adequately insured with a registered insurance company.

The law explains further that every public building should be insured against the hazards of collapse, fire, earthquake, storm and flood. Public building include a tenement house, hostel, a building occupied by a tenant, lodger or licensee and any building to which members of the public have ingress and aggress for the purpose of obtaining educational or medical service, or for the purpose of recreation or transaction of business. Ilori called on stakeholders in the built environment to arrest the rising incidents of building collapse by ensuring strict adherence to standards, adding that the nation has lost so much to the carelessness of a few unpatriotic builders. The NIA DG assures the insuring public of the industry’s capacity and readiness to respond to the needs of Nigerians through the provision of insurance protection to the citizens. Also, insurance brokers under the umbrella of Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB) condoled victims of the 360 Degrees Tower Multi-Storey building collapse in Lagos and rued the huge human and financial loss in the disaster.

The President of the Council, Rotimi Edu, noted that the increasing cases of building collapse constituted a huge challenge to government and other stakeholders in the built environment to embark on better synergy to ensure compliance with extant building regulations. Edu was of the opinion that despite the strident efforts of Lagos State government through its various dedicated agencies, the incidences of building collapse has not been fully stopped. He seized the opportunity to underscore the need for compliance with the compulsory insurance of public buildings as stipulated in Section 64 & 65 of Insurance Act of 2003, which makes it mandatory for all contractors and their agents to, among others, undertake insurance against death or injuries to third parties to a public building in the event of a disaster of this nature.

 

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