By Rosemary Onuoha
Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers, NCRIB, has frowned at the poor attitude of Nigerians towards insurance and dependence on government for compensation after a major incident or disaster.
Executive Secretary of NCRIB, Mr. Fatai Adegbenro, expressed this position while reacting to queries from Vanguard regarding the recent building collapse in Lagos, noting that insurance is the best form of risk transfer mechanism.
Adegbenro said that government cannot pay compensation the way the insurance industry can in the event of a disaster.
He said: “Nigerians should imbibe the culture of insurance and stop the habit of going cap in hand to government anytime there is a major incident or disaster. In mature climes, citizens don’t run after government for aid when there is an incident or disaster, rather they go to their insurance companies because they believe in insurance and that insurers will pay commensurate compensation for their loss.
“But in Nigeria, the story is different as people see such scenarios as opportunity to gain from government. In some situations, some people capitalize on such occurrence to defraud government. Unfortunately, victims of disasters can’t get commensurate compensation from government for their loss after an incident or a disaster because government is not an insurer.”
It will be recalled that on March 13, a building collapsed at Ita Faji, Lagos Island, killing 20 persons, including school children, while more than 40 people sustained injuries.
Five days later, another building collapsed on 57, Egerton Square, Oke Arin, Lagos — but this was because the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) had engaged the services of some contractors to bring down houses marked for demolition in the wake of the Ita Faji building collapse.
However, another building collapsed on Lagos Island, bringing to three the number of building collapses witnessed in that section of Lagos within two weeks.