——Vows to sanction defaulters henceforth
The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), Nigeria Insurers Association (NIA) and Federal Fire Services (FFS) yesterday reminded the Federal Government to obey its law on insurance of public buildings, saying that its compliance will sent positive signals to others to follow as well.

The call to the Federal Government is on the heels of yesterday’s agreement by the three parties to embark on enforcement of insurance of public buildings nationwide and to sanction the owner of any such classified buildings without proof of insurance coverage.

Public buildings are classified as any building the members of the public can have access to or out of. Or any building that can be opened to a third party.
They resolved that henceforth, insurance companies should clarify in their returns the premium they make in insurances of public building in line with the provisions of the Section 65 (4) of the insurance Act 2003, which provides that the insurance companies would support the Fire Service with part of the premium paid to fire underwriters for protection against fire disaster
The Commissioner for Insurance, Mohammed Kari who announced the effective commencement of enforcing insurance of public buildings, said that laws were made to be respected and enforced.

He said that this is a federal law and legislature law, and compliance to it by the federal government would give the impetus and belief that enforcement of compulsory fire insurance would work.

He said NAICOM had held several meetings with government agencies to allay their fears on this, adding that the as responsible corporate entity, it is expected that government would comply in insurance of its public buildings.

He said that henceforth, the implementation would be enforced by the Federal Fire Services who is empowered to demand from any public building owner the proof of fire insurance coverage.
He said with effect from date, sensitization would be carried out to ensure that nobody is left in doubt of which building or premise is classified as public building.
“Failure to respect the law will be dealt with sever consequences by the enforcement agencies, which will be in this case, the fire services,” the Commissioner for Insurance stressed.
On his part, the Comptroller General of the Federal Fire Service, Anebi Joseph Garba, noted that fire had caused a lot of havoc nationwide, adding that most of the edifices affected by fire disaster have no fire insurance cover.
He cited that Section 48 and 89 of the National Fire Code empowers the Federal Fire Service to carry out risk assessment of any public building and to demand for insurance certificate.
Garba expressed optimism that if this insurance coverage is implemented, there would be more funds coming into the insurance sector.
However, he regretted that in some states, the FFS lacked logistics such as utility vehicles to move round to inspect buildings and enforce insurance coverage.
The Chairman of the Nigeria Insurance Association (NIA), Eddie Efekoya, said that it marked a milestone as far as protection against fire disaster was concerned.
While noting that it has taken almost 14 years before the implementation of Section 65 (4) aspect of the Insurance Act 2003, he said the association supports the implementation being championed by the NAICOM.
He said although the insurance companies provide compensation in even of fire disaster, but the national waste cannot be compensated.
He said: “Insurance can compensate materially but really cannot compensate the trauma we all get from it”, adding that the waste in terms of the money spent for compensation or reconstructing the destroyed building would have been channeled to other profitable ventures.
He assured that once the template for the implementation is ready, the association would contribute its quota to ensure its success.