June 25, 2024

… Faults builders on negligence for building collapse in Ikoyi

The Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB) has called on building contractors and house owners to embrace public liabilities insurance to prevent the loss of lives and property in Nigeria.

Public Liability insurance is a part of the general insurance system of risk financing to protect the purchaser from the risks of liabilities imposed by lawsuits and similar claims and protects the insured if the purchaser is sued for claims that come within the coverage of the insurance policy.

There are strong indications that many collapsed storey building particularly in Lagos State and other cities in the country have no form of insurance coverage.

Checks by the Guardian, at the weekend, revealed that insurance companies under the auspices of the Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA) and insurance brokers are still searching for the likely insurance firms of those buildings, but to no avail.

Before now, insurance operators led by the NIA had partnered with the Lagos State Safety Commission to address frequent building collapse in the state through digitalising compulsory occupier’s liability insurance.

At the event where the Director-General of the Lagos State Safety Commission, Lanre Mojola, said that there is also a need for event centers, schools, bakeries, and restaurant owners among others to key into the initiative.

He disclosed that based on data captured, 480 incidents of building collapses have been recorded in the State in the past 44 years.

It would be remembered that Lagos State Government six years ago, expressed its readiness to introduce compulsory insurance to owners of buildings across the state to address the increasing incidence of building collapse. But the move has not proved evidence of the seriousness of the state in that direction.

The President,  NCRIB, Rotimi Edu, in a statement made available to this medium at the weekend, condemned the Ikoyi building collapse, describing it as a case of negligence by the building contractors who undertook the construction.

“Though no casualty was reported, the collapse brings to questioning the continuous recalcitrance of building contractors to adhere to existing regulatory prescriptions concerning public buildings in the country,” Edu said.

Edu seized the opportunity to underscore the sensitivity of public buildings necessitating the need for builders and owners to imbibe insurance policies such as Public Liability, Contractors All Risk (CAR), and other prescriptions of Sections 64 & 65 of the Insurance Act, about public buildings.

“If these insurance policies had been in place, the risk of total loss incurred by the owners of the collapsed buildings would have been greatly reduced’, he noted.

Edu advised the Lagos State government to expedite the investigation on the cause of the building collapse and urgently apprise the public of the result of the findings and actions to be taken to avert future building infractions in the state and the country.

Recall that in November 2021, a similar incidence of the collapse of a high-rise block of luxury flats under construction in the neighborhood of  Ikoyi in the state, occurred in which several persons were killed, attracting public condemnation.

Commenting on the incident, an insurance agent, Akintoye Daniel, said that the incessant building collapse as often witnessed in some cities across the country is the sequel to compromise in the structural integrity of a building’s component and element.

He advised the government to pay more attention to the area of building collapse in the state to address future occurrences.


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