The Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB), the organised body for insurance brokers in Nigeria representing the group of professionals who act as intermediaries between insurance companies and those who buy insurance services, over the weekend, said there appears to be no relationship between the builders, promoters and owners of the 21-storey high rise which collapsed in Ikoyi, Lagos and any underwriter or broker in the insurance industry.
The body said no insurer or insurance broker has come forward to say they were associated with the building or the project in any way as of the weekend.
Tope Daramola, executive secretary of the insurance brokers body, who spoke on the sidelines of the NCRIB Special Day at the 2021 Lagos International Trade Fair (LITF) in Lagos, expressed disappointment on the fatal loss recorded from the unfortunate incident.
“The fatal loss recorded from the incident is unfortunate, but as at today, no underwriter or broker has claimed any relationship with the collapsed building.
“The implication of this is a total loss for everyone involved, and sadly for those who lost their lives, if no insurer eventually shows up to take up the claims,” he said.
According to him, the government must stop paying lip service to giving insurance the impetus it needs.
Daramola noted that nothing stops the National Assembly from legislating to back compulsory insurance on storey buildings as the compulsory motor insurance policy and also enforce it with the law enforcement agencies.
Such legislation would translate into higher return for the industry, as insurance operators would employ more, thereby reducing unemployment and social problems, and also contributing to the gross domestic products (GDP), he said.
The 21-storey building, which was under construction in Ikoyi, Lagos collapsed on November 1, and led to the death of no fewer than 43 persons.
Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the governor of Lagos State has set up an investigative panel to examine the possible causes of the building collapse.
On the NCRIB special day at the fair, Daramola explained that it came out of the desire of the body to collaborate with the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI ) to deepen insurance penetration in Nigeria.
According to him, the trade fair engagement was a path-finding one, as it was the first time the industry, under the aegis of the NCRIB, was collaborating with LCCI.
“The challenge of insurance in Nigeria is not that of capacity building or technical know-how but that of acceptance by Nigerians.
“Less than 10 percent of Nigerians, as we speak, know anything about insurance; and out of 10 percent, you have less than two percent subscribing to insurance.
“This is a contrast to what you have in other climes, especially in advanced countries where everything you breathe, eat or live is insurance, ” said Daramola.
He believes that the collaboration with LCCI will lead to more enlightenment for Nigerians, especially the industry players.
Daramola urged Nigerians to take insurance very seriously by insuring anything valuable to them.
He also charged insurance companies to give more support to the council so that they could participate and improve in subsequent editions of the fair.