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Insurers, Lagos move to digitalise compulsory public building liability cover

Firm, bank in N5bn pact to facilitate relocation of building materials dealers

With a new collaboration between the Lagos State Safety Commission and the Nigerian Insurance Industry, public buildings in the state will now be required to have compulsory occupier’s liability insurance.

This product, which will be driven digitally, will further reinforce the federal government’s law on compulsory insurances of public buildings and buildings under construction as provided in the 2003 Insurance Act.

The public buildings affected by this law include cinema houses, event centres owners, school owners, owners of bakeries and restaurants among others.

Lagos State Safety Commission and the Nigeria Insurers Association (NIA) are working on the digitalization of Compulsory insurance for the people of Lagos State for accessibility and affordability.

Yetunde Ilori, director general, Nigerian Insurers Association, speaking at the stakeholders’ meeting on compulsory insurances for Lagos State held at Alausa highlighted the rationale behind the NIA’s collaboration with the Lagos Safety Commission, which she said is to educate the people on the importance and benefits of insurance.

Ilori said Section 65 of the Insurance Act 2003 stipulates that public buildings must be adequately insured ostensibly to cushion the impact and reduce burden and liability on property owners or government.

While calling on all and sundry to support the initiative to achieve the noble objective for which the compulsory insurance Act on building was enacted, she noted that to actualise this initiative, insurers and the state has resolved to digitalise the purchase of occupier’s liability insurance in Lagos State.

She said the initiative is not just about enforcement, but also to create awareness about the benefits accruable from making compulsory occupier liability building insurance a culture in Lagos State.

According to her, “We are taking the purchase of occupiers Liability Insurance to another level. What we are doing here today is to sensitize the public that insurance is not about internally generated revenue (IGR); it is not about what comes to the insurance industry, but about the safety of all.

“Insurance is not to prevent an event from happening; ours is to ensure that when it happens, we can proffer solution by providing comfort to vulnerable people. Ours is to ensure the continuity of your business even when something happens.

“It is not about making business difficult; it is about sustainability. It is about doing the needful in case the unfortunate happens, so that you don’t have to settle the liability with your life savings.

Also speaking at the press conference, the Director-General and Chief Executive Officer, Lagos State Safety Commission,

Lanre Mojola, director-general/CEO Lagos State Safety Commission traced the genesis of the partnership between the Commission and the NIA, stating that it started many years ago.

He said the event is not only about the enforcement of the compulsory insurance in Lagos State, but about the awareness of the importance and benefits of insurance for the populace.

Read also:  Safety experts want compulsory insurance on buildings in Lagos

“We have met with different associations including operators of cinema houses, event centres owners, school owners, owners of bakeries, restaurants owners and a host of others to intimate them on the importance and benefits of taking up this essential insurance.

“Ours is a Safety Commission and our mandate is to ensure the safety of every resident in the state. Safety is everybody’s responsibility. Before we get to where we are today, we started by understanding what the challenges are; we have done evaluation across the state in terms of risk assessment and we have realised that this is the right time for us to start the implementation of compulsory insurance,” Mojola explained.

He said the partnership with the insurance sector to implement and enforce compulsory insurances would lead to a safer Lagos, just as he called on all to embrace insurance.

According to him, “there had over the years been numerous accidents and incidents such as natural disasters, building collapses, fires, explosions that have resulted in injuries, permanent disabilities, loss of lives and property, adding that to protect Nigerians, and their businesses from vagaries in the event of the unfortunate incident leading to injury, property damage or death, the Federal Government through various Acts of parliament promulgated laws making seven insurance policies compulsory across the country”

“Due to several factors, some of these compulsory insurance laws have not been fully implemented and as such when dangerous occurrences and disasters happen, the citizenry look up to the government for compensation,” he said.

“What we are saying now is that safety is everybody’s responsibility. Yes, its government’s responsibility to protect the life and property of the citizenry. Citizens are also expected to play their role by embracing insurance and being safety conscious always, he said.