The Lagos State Government has said it plans to compel building owners in the state to insure their properties.
The Director General of the Lagos State Safety Commission, Hon. Hakeem Dickson disclosed this at a Monday, April 10 press briefing jointly organised by the commission and Safety Record Newspaper, the organisers of Nigeria Safety Award for Excellence Hall of Fame (9jaSAFE Awards).
The pre-event briefing was to announce call for nominations for the 2017 edition of the annual 9jaSAFE Awards.
“The commission also intends to introduce compulsory insurance on all buildings in Lagos State in synergy with the Consortium of Insurance Companies and National Insurance Commission (NAICOM).
“As a matter of fact, we are about to sign an MOU with NAICOM; they are arriving here tomorrow and they are having a meeting with us on Wednesday about making sure that every building is insured.”
Dickson said the mandatory insurance cover was part of the provisions of the state’s Insurance Law of 2003 which has yet to be fully implemented.
The DG said, “It is a pity that the Insurance Law of 2003 which had since been in existence has not been fully enforced except for the aspect which provides for compulsory insurance for motor vehicle. Unknown to many, the Law also provides compulsory insurance policy for owners of buildings, hospitals among others which are also as important if not more important than insuring a vehicle.”
He said every building in the state irrespective of size would be insured, while saying proper enforcement of the policy would prevent the rampant cases of victims of building collapse calling for the state government’s help.
“I can remember a man who was 95 years old, who has put up a four-storey building. Then one of his tenants used a candle to put on the light.
“You will not believe what happened: the candle fell down and the entire building caught fire; burnt to ashes.
“The man did not live up to two weeks; then he died.
“But if there’s insurance (policy), he would just be smiling, ‘Thank God they will pay me the value of the day.’
“Even that same day, they would have lodged the man in a hotel until they do something else for him.
“That is the importance of insurance and it is a part of safety.”
He said it was important to enforce compliance to ensure the safety of everyone in the state, especially workers.
Dickson also the commission intends to establish a safety institute where stakeholders can be trained and certified.