The National Insurance Commission on Wednesday expressed worry that most public buildings and buildings under construction above two floors are not adequately and insured.
The Deputy Commissioner for Insurance Technical, NAICOM, Alh. Sabiu Bello Abubakar, said this at a sensitization workshop for the Federal Fire Service and state fire service officers on insurance of public buildings and buildings under construction.
He said the development has further accentuated the need for urgent measures to be put in place by the Commission to ensure that these buildings are adequately insured.
The lack of insurance policy for public building is a clear violation of Section 65 of the Insurance Act 2003, which stipulates that all public building must be adequately insured.
Also, it violates Section 64 of the Act, which provides that all buildings under construction above 2 floors must be adequately insured.
Abubakar stated further that the essence of insurance of public buildings and buildings under construction above 2 floors is to cushion the impact and reduce the burden and liabilities that the owner/government would have to bear in the likely occurrences of catastrophic events such as natural disasters, fire, accidents, building collapse, injuries or death to third parties.
This, he noted, would assist in saving the government money which can be channeled towards augmenting the needs of the citizenry, providing infrastructure, and creating employment, among others.
He said, “As follow-up to the success of previous nationwide awareness campaigns for compulsory insurance, NAICOM is moving the bar a notch higher.
“Therefore, this sensitization workshop is aimed at equipping Fire Service Officers with the necessary knowledge to properly enforce the insurance of public buildings and buildings under construction above 2 floors.
“It is very worrisome to the Commission that most public buildings and buildings under construction above 2 floors are never adequately and appropriately insured, which further accentuated the need for urgent measures to be put in place by the Commission to ensure that these buildings are adequately insured. It is the desire of NAICOM to change this narrative for good.”
The Comptroller-General of the Federal Fire Service who was represented by Mrs. Debbie Windele, said the partnership between the Fire Service, and NAICOM is absolutely necessary as section 65 of the Insurance Act 2003 only provides for all public buildings in the federation to be insured.
However, she said that in sub-section 4, it provides that 0.25 per cent of the net premium received by every direct insurer on policies issued from public buildings must be paid quarterly by every insurer into the Fire Services Maintenance Fund.
She explained that the proceeds collated into this Fund by the Commission would be disbursed to the Fire Service for the purpose of providing grant or equipment.
Windele added, “The existence of this Funds and the prudent utilization of same, can turn the tide in the Fire Service in achieving its mandate.
“This Fund would certainly make issues of lack of equipment a story of the past in the Fire Sector in Nigeria. However, to make this a reality, all parties must play their part.
“It is pertinent that both institutions work in tandem with one another and promote transparency in their dealing to realize the vision.”
She noted further that the purpose of this workshop is to raise awareness on this project and to serve as a brainstorming opportunity for all parties.