The Lagos State Government is introducing compulsory insurance to owners of buildings across the State and has also established Safety Institute where stakeholders can be trained and certified.
The decision becomes necessary to stem increasing rate of building collapse across the State and the continued dependence on the State Government for compensation.
The Director General of Lagos State Safety Commission, Hakeem Dickson who made the disclosure, said the government would collaborate with the Consortium of Insurance Companies and the National Insurance Commission, NAICOM, for seamless implementation of the policy.
Dickson lamented the rate at which Lagosians passed blames on the State Government whenever there was an incidence of building collapse as they often berated government for not compensating victims of building collapse whenever it occurred.
According to the Director- General, if Lagosians embraced the policy, it would save them from untold hardship, losses, and hopelessness associated with emergency occurrences, stressing that Insurance companies had the financial capabilities to compensate and pay premiums to victims of disasters than the government.
“What we have decided to do at Lagos State 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.”
Speaking on the Insurance Policy, the Director-General said that the state government was not introducing something new to residents of the State but had 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 the motor vehicle. Unknown to many, the Law also provides the compulsory insurance policy for owners of buildings, hospitals among others which are also as important if not more important than insuring a vehicle” he said.
He also expressed the 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 would reduce compensation burden on the State Government and ultimately make more money available to the government for the implementation of much other life impacting and developmental projects.
Dickson bemoaned the level of safety compliance even among some high-profiling construction companies and other well-established businesses, stressing 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 award by Nigeria Safety Awards would recognize those who have excelled in safety measures and will also encourage others to aim for the best saying, merit and hard work will always be recognized.
He promised that the Commission will continue to place emphasis on safety as against compensation.
Earlier, the Chief Executive Officer, CEO of 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 and started in 2015.
He commended 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 Lagos State Government places on the lives of its citizens.
Alebiosu described the partnership with the State Government as a welcome development and urged other state Governments to follow the same path.