Building collapse: Stakeholders reiterate importance of insurance, seek law review

Ikoyi building collapse

Some stakeholders have reiterated the importance of insuring public buildings and buildings under construction to avoid future building collapse.

They spoke during the National Insurance Conference 2023 on Monday in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the conference has as its theme, “Redefining Safety- Insurance Solutions for Public Buildings and Building Under Construction.”

According to them, the recurrence of building collapse in the country and its effect is becoming alarming and should be tackled accordingly.

They, therefore, called for a review of the laws in the Insurance Act concerning building collapse, to deter contractors and builders from engaging in substandard buildings and cushion the effect for the victims of such collapse.

The Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, said the issue of compliance on insurance of public buildings and those under construction was critical.

Akpabio, represented by Sen. Darlington Nwokocha, said: “Whenever a building collapses, it does not just result in loss of the building but loss of lives, livelihood and infrastructure that will not be replaced without insurance solutions.”

He, therefore, reiterated the need to ensure further actions and review the insurance laws while commending NAICOM for setting the pace towards addressing building collapse and ensuring insurance compliance.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dr Tajudeen Abass, also decried the losses from building collapse in Nigeria.

Abass, represented by the Chairman, House Committee on Insurance and Actuarial Matters, Ahmed Jaha, described the conference as apt and assured succour for victims of building collapse.

He expressed the commitment of the National Assembly to collaborate with the insurance regulator to ensure protection of lives and properties in the country.

Also speaking, the Governor of Enugu State, Dr Peter Mba, attributed the cause of building collapse to negligence of due process.

Mba also pledged to collaborate with insurance companies in the state to ensure buildings constructed in the state followed due process.

Whenever a building collapses, it does not just result in loss of the building but loss of lives, livelihood and infrastructure that will not be replaced without insurance solutions.

Embracing technology

While speaking on the Role of Insurance and Technology, Mr Jim Ovia, Chairman, Zenith Bank Plc, called for improved insurance penetration in the country.

Ovia decried the low level of insurance penetration in the country when compared with the large population.

He urged NAICOM to partner with mobile companies so mobile phones could be used to deploy insurance services.

Similarly, Mr Tony Elumelu, the Chairman, Heirs Holding, stressed the need to make the sector more attractive for youths to drive insurance penetration.

According to Elumelu, collaboration is also key to creating more awareness and ensuring compliance of insurance in the country.

He proposed recapitalisation for insurance and urged that a section of earnings of insurance companies should be set aside for awareness to drive the sector.

Elumelu said: “With the right enabling environment, we will see the transformation of the sector in Nigeria.”

Also speaking, the Emir of Kano, Aminu Ado Bayero, urged participants to learn more on safety regulations to avoid the tragedy caused by building collapse.

Bayero also urged relevant stakeholders to proffer solutions to the menace, while reiterating his commitment to support NAICOM in its quest.

Contributing, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, pledged to collaborate with the regulator to ensure insurance inclusiveness in the country.

According to Ogunwusi, traditional rulers are custodians of traditional culture and are closer to the grassroots and will play their part in educating their people on insurance.

Earlier, the Commissioner for Insurance, Mr Sunday Thomas, reiterated the commitment of the Commission to continue to engage relevant stakeholders to drive the sector.

The conference was attended by government officials and key stakeholders and players in the sector. (NAN)

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