Lagos State Government has expressed its readiness to introduce compulsory insurance to owners of buildings across the State due to increasing incidence of building collapse and also establish a Safety Institute where stakeholders can be trained and certified.
The Director General of Lagos State Safety Commission, Hon. Hakeem Dickson, who made this known on Monday at a Press Conference held as part of preparation for the Naija Safe Awards 2017 at Alausa, Ikeja, said the implementation of the policy would be in synergy with Consortium of Insurance Companies and the National Insurance Commission, NAICOM.
Dickson lamented the rate at which Lagosians pass blames on the State Government whenever there is an incidence of building collapse and often berate government for not compensating victims of building collapse whenever it occurs.
According to the Director- General, if Lagosians embrace the policy, it would save them from untold hardship, losses and hopelessness associated with unforeseen emergency situations, stressing that Insurance Companies have the financial capabilities to compensate and pay premiums to victims of disasters than government.
“What we have decided to do at Lagos State Safety Commission is to collaborate with our partner in progress, NAICOM whose aim and mission tallies with ours, that is safety and protection of the citizenry against risk and loss of properties,” he said.
Speaking on the Insurance Policy, the Director-General said the State government is not introducing something new to residents of the State but has only decided to comply with the already existing Insurance Act of 2003.
“It is a pity that the Insurance Law of 2003 which had since been in existence has not been fully enforced except for the aspect which provides for compulsory insurance for motor vehicle. Unknown to many, the Law also provides compulsory insurance policy for owners of buildings, hospitals among others which are also as important if not more important than insuring a vehicle”, Dickson stated.
He also expressed belief that the compulsory building insurance would go a long way in addressing the high rate of negligence on the part of owners of buildings across the State and reduce compensation burden on the State Government and ultimately make more money available to government for the implementation of more life impacting and developmental projects.
Dickson bemoaned the level of safety compliance even among some high-profile construction companies and other well-established businesses, noting that the decision to implement the law would further awaken the consciousness of safety among all residents of the State.
He expressed hope that the yearly Nigeria Safety Awards would recognize those who have excelled in safety measures and also encourage others to aim for the best saying, merit and hard work will always be recognized.
Earlier, the Chief Executive Officer, CEO, Nigeria Safety Awards, Alhaji Lateef Alebiosu said that the idea for the award was conceived to reward those who have championed safety awareness and promoted safety consciousness.
He commended the Lagos State Government for being the only State in the country that has an established Safety Commission, saying that the establishment of the commission is a testimony to the premium that the State Government places on the lives of its citizens.