The Lagos State Government through the Lagos State Safety Commission and the Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA), has commenced discussions with stakeholders on the enforcement of compulsory insurance on public buildings in the state.
The compulsory insurance on these public buildings known as the Owners Occupiers Liability is expected to cover different entities of public places or public buildings such as event centres, cinemas, schools, hospitals, worship centres, restaurants and bakeries.
The engagement was geared toward seeking for support on the initiative to domesticate the Federal Government law on compulsory insurance on public buildings.
According to NAN, this was made known by the Director-General of the Lagos State Safety Commission (LSSC), Mr Lanre Mojola, at a Stakeholders Conference organised by the commission and the NIA with the theme: Lagos State Digital Compulsory Insurance (Public Buildings) for Lagos State Government – Safer Lagos Insurance.
What the Director-General of LSSC is saying
Mojola said that the state government thought it necessary to implement statutory insurance for the benefit of all its residents so as to ensure the safety of lives and property.
He said, “Safety is everyone’s responsibility, and statistics, as carried out by the commission, has revealed that over 480 buildings nationwide have collapsed within the last 44 years. This is the data we recorded, imagine so much more that were not recorded.’’
Mojola maintained that the state government would ensure that everyone is protected in the state and safe when using public places, adding that in case of unfortunate incidents, government must also ensure that the victims are covered by insurance or compensated where death occurred.
He said, “Now that we have identified the problem, we have begun engagement, then we will educate the public on the need to key into the implementation of the law before we begin enforcement and sanction after the law in fully in place.
“Safety Commission have the mandate to issue Safety Compliance Certificate to owners of buildings and this will only be issued after the Owner Occupiers certificate issued by an insurance company is presented.’’
The Director-General, NIA, Mrs Yetunde Ilori, appreciated the current administration in Lagos state for its effort to make the initiative happen, adding that the state had been at the forefront of domestication of the federal law on compulsory insurance, with engagement for the implementation of the Owner Occupiers insurance on for over a year.
She said, ”NIA has taken a step forward to digitalise the purchase of Occupiers Liability insurance at the comfort of your home and at a pocket-friendly price.
”Occupiers Liability is not about IGR or profit for the insurance companies but safety for all. Insurance would not prevent unfortunate events from happening but would provide succour to the affected and an avenue to bounce back.
”We need your support, as this is not about punitive measure but partnering to ensure that we are all our brothers’ keeper. It is not about making business a liability but about sustainability.’’
- This renewed initiative is coming at a time stakeholders including the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), have continually advocated for the enforcement of compulsory insurance compliance in Nigeria, especially with the frequent incidents of building collapse which has recorded many casualties.
- However, Nigerians are known to have some level of resentment towards insurance policies. An example is vehicle insurance, where motorists would rather patronize illegitimate insurance than patronize legitimate vendors.
- Over the years, complaints of delay in claims payment have created distrust for the general insurance proposition in Nigeria.
- However, it is very necessary that this is enforced in public buildings as this would help in the adherence to building plan and reduce incidents of substandard construction.