Industry professionals, builders rally FG on building construction insurance

Concerned by losses suffered in the past from building collapse and damages caused by fire, particularly in the marketplaces and other natural disasters, professionals in the insurance and building sectors of the economy have called on the Federal Government to enforce the law on insurance of buildings to reduce loss of lives and assets in the country.

The professionals in both sectors converged at the 2023 National Insurance Brokers Conference and Exhibition with the theme: “Insurance and The Building Industry: Forging a Better Synergy.” They agreed to collaborate to address the perpetual building collapse in Nigeria.

The National Insurance Brokers Conference and Exhibition is one of the NCRIB events held yearly. It brings together insurance operators and strategic stakeholders in the economy to discuss any chosen issues germane to the industry’s development and advancing the national economic process.

For people’s lives to be protected and the insurance sector to contribute its quarter maximally to the economy, the professionals, however, stressed the need for government at all levels to enforce the laws of the land and owe it a duty to ascertain that laws are respected by Nigerians.

They cited the enactment of Sections 64 and 65 of the 2003 Insurance Act for the compulsory insurance of public buildings and buildings under construction against the hazards of collapsed buildings, damage by fire, and other natural disasters like storms, floods, earthquakes, as well as arson and other losses related to the incidence of fire.

The Act defines public buildings as including – a tenement house, hostel, building occupied by a tenant, lodger, or license building where the public has ingress and egress for obtaining educational or medical services or recreation or transaction of business. This would include eateries, restaurants, Internet cafes, shopping malls, etc.

According to insurance companies in the sector, losses resulting from collapsed buildings whether at the stage of construction or occupation bring physical sorrows, tears, and pains resulting from outright loss of property and valuables because they are not insured against the probability of the risk occurring.

The insurance players believe that the failure of most buildings in major cities in the country to stand the test of time has been attributed to sub-standard works at various stages of construction.

Speaking on the development, the President/Chairman of the Governing Board, the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB), Rotimi Edu, said there is a need for the professionals in the insurance and the built sector to collaborate to heighten the national economy.

The NCRIB President described the conference’s theme as apt and capable of addressing problems of non-infusion of insurance content into the uptakes of professionals in the built environment.

He revealed that in Nigeria unlike overseas, the synergy between the built professionals and insurance industry is nonexistent, to the grave disadvantage of the two divides and the public that engage their services.

Also, the President, the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyor (NIQS), Shonubi Olayemi, and the President, the Nigerian Institute of Builders (NIOB), Tunji Adeniran, expressed their readiness to come together to save the country from building collapse.

By Bankole Orimisan