By ROSEMARY ONUOHA
As the reoccurring incident of building collapse becomes a nightmare in the country, town planning authorities have the responsibility of saving the nation from such avoidable losses if only they demand for insurance documents before approving property plans.
Also, since the law has made it mandatory for public buildings and buildings under construction to be insured, the town planning authorities that go ahead to approve property plans without insurance documents are working contrary to the law.
According to insurers, if the law on insurance of buildings and buildings under construction as encapsulated under the Market Development and Restructuring Initiative, MDRI, of the National Insurance Commission, NAICOM, must work, town planning authorities must be seen to be committed to the initiative.
And because there is a huge pressure on insurers to key into the MDRI, insurance companies under the aegis of the Nigerian Insurers Association, NIA, are of the notion that town planners have a huge role to play if the initiative is to succeed.
Mr. Olusola Ladipo-Ajayi, Chairma, NIA, said that collaboration between the town planners and the NIA will be useful stating “The issue is that it will help us if the town planning authorities that approve plans insist on having insurance documents before these plans are approved.”
According to him, the service that the insurance industry is going to render on the MDRI is not just about making money for insurers but also preventing losses in the economy and the country at large.
He said, “What are the issues that are involved in the collapse of buildings? They are poor workmanship and poor material. You can bring every other thing under those two categories. Even the Nigerian institute of estate surveyors held a workshop on how to tap into these things and we are working together with them.
But these things don’t just happen overnight.” He said the move is necessary because most Nigerians don’t see any value in insurance adding, “People think that insurance is an additional tax and there may not be the likelihood of people coming in. so.