I welcome you all to this stakeholders’ meeting on the implementation of the Occupiers Liability Insurance otherwise known as Insurance of Public Buildings in Lagos State. I appreciate your taking out the time to attend this engagement session which is being organized by the Safety Commission in conjunction with the Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA) aimed at remarkably changing the architecture of risk management and safety regulation concerning public buildings in the State.
Over the years, numerous accidents and incidents such as natural disasters, building collapses, fires, explosions have resulted in injuries, permanent disability, loss of lives and property without any recompense to those affected and or their loved ones. A recent case in point is the OPIC Plaza gas explosion in Ikeja with the attendant loss of lives and property.
To protect Nigerians and their businesses from vagaries in the event of unfortunate events and incidents leading to injury, property damage or death, the Federal Government through various Acts of parliament have over the years promulgated laws making seven (7) Insurance Policies compulsory across the Federation.
However, due to several factors, some of these Compulsory Insurances Laws have not been fully implemented. As such, when dangerous occurrences and disasters happen, the citizenry look up to the government for compensation. It is the determination of the present administration led by Mr Governor, Mr Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu to curb this trend, the reason for this very important relevant stakeholders engagement session. In focus here, today is the Compulsory Insurance Act in respect of existing public buildings.
As the economic capital of Nigeria and indeed the sixth-largest economy in Africa, Lagos State has a good stock of public buildings such as schools, offices, hospitals, hotels, events centres, restaurants, cafes, lounges, bars, supermarkets, shopping malls, cinemas amongst others.
Section 65 of the Insurance Act 2003 stipulates that all public buildings shall be adequately insured ostensibly to cushion the impact and reduce the burden and liabilities on property owners/government.
I, therefore, call on all of us to support this initiative to achieve the noble objectives for which the Compulsory Insurance Act on Public Buildings was enacted, by sharing ideas and experiences on how we can together realize its full implementation in Lagos State.
I believe that at the end of this stakeholder’s meeting, we will all be on the same page on how to ensure that public buildings in Lagos are safe, insured and better protected.
Thank you and God bless.