By ROSEMARY ONUOHA
The Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA) has said that the heavy financial burden placed on dependants of the building collapse in Lekki would have been mitigated if the contractors had done the needful by insuring the building. Scenes from the scene of the collapsed building at Kusenla road, Ikate, Elegushi, Lekki, Lagos, yesterday. In a statement signed by the Director General of NIA, Mr. Sunday Thomas, the Association said that all over the world, insurance is risk mitigating mechanisms designed to bring succour to those who suffer lose of their relations and/or property. Thomas said, “As a nation, we should learn to place premium on human lives by doing the needful. This is where the insurance companies can be called to action. “Insurance Act 2003 in its Section 64(1) states that No person shall cause to be constructed any building of more than two floors without insuring with a registered insurer his liability in respect of construction risks caused by his negligence or the negligence of his servants, agents or consultants which may result in bodily injury or loss of life to or damage to property of any workman on the site or of any member of the Public. “All the stakeholders in the construction industry should take appropriate steps to ensure compliance with the extant laws to stop the needless loss of lives and property and the resultant problems for the families. This is not the time for the blame game but indeed a time for sober reflection and a call to action.
Those who are vested with the power to enforce the laws of the land owe it a duty to ensure that laws are obeyed. What is more? The Lagos State government had domesticated the law on Insurance of Buildings under construction. What remains is for the law enforcement agents to enforce the law. The nation cannot afford to waste its citizens and its assets given the robust insurance arrangement opportunities provided by the insurance Act 2003. Enough of this waste!
Take Insurance to cover your risks and be assured of better tomorrow in case the unexpected happens,” Thomas stated. The NIA however said that it commiserates with the families of those who lost their lives in the collapse five-storey building in Lekki. Recall that as at Thursday, March 10, 2015, about 34 people were reported to have died in the collapsed Lekki five-storey building including artesans, labourers, hawkers, women and children while the number of those injured is yet to be made public.
The NIA also notes with regret the loss of lives and valuable property as a result of building collapse in different parts of the country. “We are mindful of the heavy burden the death of bread winners have placed on their families and we pray God to grant the children and other dependants of victims of the disaster the fortitude to bear the loss,” Thomas stated.