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Chuks Udo Okonta
The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has said the Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) strategy adopted to enforce insurances of public buildings and buildings under Construction would be replicated across all states in the country.
The Commissioner for Insurance Sunday Thoma, said this while inaugurating a 10-member committee which comprise, members of staff of NAICOM; insurers; brokers; Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers; hoteliers; Federal Fire Service; Real Estate Development Association of Nigeria and Insurtech operators at the 2023 National Insurance Conference in Abuja.
He expressed optimism about the transformative impact this move would have on the insurance industry and the safety of public buildings.
According to him, the insurance industry would never remain the same and the safety of public buildings would be redefined, as the public-private partnerships thrive at the federal and state levels.
He submitted that the committee’s responsibilities would encompass data collection, continuous monitoring, comprehensive reporting and the organisation of regular meetings to assess the state of insurance coverage within the sector.
The committee, he said would play a pivotal role in bolstering building safety and minimizing risks associated with construction and occupancy, adding that one of the primary objectives of the initiative is to effectively mitigate the unfortunate instances of building collapses that have plagued Nigeria in recent years.
He posited that such incidents have not only resulted in loss of life but also in significant property damage, stressing that these incidents have raised concerns about the need for improved safety measures and better insurance coverage within the construction and real estate sector.
Thomas submitted that by overseeing this critical area, the committee aims to address these concerns and bring about a positive change.
“Building collapses in Nigeria have been a longstanding issue that has affected both urban and rural areas, leading to tragic consequences for individuals and communities.
“These incidents have been attributed to various factors, including poor construction practices, inadequate building inspections, and a lack of comprehensive insurance coverage.
“The committee’s activities will provide a solution to these issues by promoting the adoption of rigorous building standards, continuous monitoring, and an improved insurance framework for builders and property owners.
“It will focus on developing an integrated approach to enhance building safety and ensure that insurance coverage aligns with the dynamic needs of the construction industry,” he said.
The NAICOM boss noted that the committee is committed to transparency, accountability and regular reporting to NAICOM, thereby creating a mechanism for identifying and addressing challenges that may arise in the course of its activities.
He maintained that any issues or obstacles encountered will be escalated to the government for prompt resolution, further strengthening the partnership between regulatory bodies and the construction industry.
The launch of the committee, he said represents a positive step toward building safety in Nigeria, as it seeks to safeguard lives, property and investments by promoting responsible construction practices and comprehensive insurance coverage.
By addressing the recurring issue of building collapses, this initiative has the potential to significantly enhance public safety, instill confidence in the construction sector, and promote a more robust insurance industry, he posited.
He said it is a clear demonstration of the commitment of NAICOM and the entire insurance sector to improving building safety standards and protecting the interests of the Nigerian people.
President Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB) Tunde Oguntade, who spoke with Inspenonline on the sideline of the event, said the conference and inauguration was apt given the interventions taken by NAICOM to visit all the states and governors.
He posited that the industry really need all those interventions, before a conference such as that has to come up.
“In this conference, all the stakeholders under one roof have come to realized that there is need for collaboration, which is a major take home from the conference. Another major high point is the inauguration of the stakeholders committee which would drive the collaboration.
“I see a situation where there would be improved awareness and increase on insurance contributions to Gross Domestic Products (GDP).
“Imagine if we are able to increase the contributions of insurance to the GDP to five per cent as a result of this conference, it would create jobs, capacity, enablement for the underwriters. In fact, the possibilities are endless,” he submitted.