Following series of consultations by the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), a synergy has been created with the Federal Fire Service (FFS) and the Nigeria Insurers Association (NIA), to as a matter of urgency kick-start the enforcement of public building insurance in the country.
NAICOM’s Commissioner For Insurance /CEO Mr Mohammed Kari, disclosed the development to newsmen in Abuja.
Kari noted that Section 65 (4) of the Insurance Act, 2003 mandates the regulator, on behalf of the insurance sector to support programmes of Fire Service.
“This is supposed to be done through the regulator’s contribution of part of the insurance premium that was paid to fire underwriters,’’ Kari said.
Kari said fourteen years down the line, the laws have not been implemented, stressing that the current synergy is a way forward.
“We have resolved to start afresh from January, 2017 to ensure insurance companies clarify their returns vis-a-vis the premium income they make from insurances of public buildings.
“We have also agreed for the industry to make contribution to the fire funds.
“We will co-opt the fire services and the insurance association through the NIA to manage the funds for the benefit and development of fire service across the nation.
“We will consider this as a formal kick-off of that creation and we have agreed from today, to provide clarity as to what is qualified to be a public building.
“There will be series of sensitisation that will follow and no consumer or client will be left with any doubt to whether his premises fall under the description and intention of our law,’’ he said.
Kari further said those who default will “face severe consequences by the enforcement agency, the Federal fire service.
Mr Joseph Anebi, the Controller-General of the Federal Fire Service, on his part welcomed the move by the regulator, noting that his agency was ready for their task ahead, adding that if carefully implemented, the enforcement would help to generate funds for the insurance sector .
“We are all aware of the havoc that fire have caused within the nation and you will see that most of this places where you have fire incidents, have no insurance cover.”he said.
He further said “Sections 48 and 89 of National Fire Code give the fire service the power to carry out risk assessment of public building and request for insurance certificate.
Speaking at the occasion, NIA Chairman, Mr Eddie Efekoha, said “We offer insurance services, and in particular, fire insurance, but we are not so interested in seeing all these buildings in flames.