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General News of Monday, 15 November 2021


Collapsed Ikoyi building wasn’t insured - Building expert

Ikoyi collapsed building Ikoyi collapsed building

The 21-storey building at Gerrard Road, Ikoyi, which collapsed on Monday, November 1, was not insured.

Experts said the owner of the building, Femi Osibona, who died in the rubble of the building, failed to obey Sections 64 and 65 of the Insurance Act 2003, which states that existing public buildings and those under construction with more than two floors must be insured against construction risks caused by negligence.

The Nigerian Insurers Association and the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB), an umbrella body of insurers and brokers said they have no record of insurance policy on the building.

The General Manager of the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA), Mr Gbolahan Oki had called for a meeting with some insurance brokers to discuss insurance of public buildings in the state a few days before the Ikoyi structure caved in. it was learn;t

While the Governor has set up an independent panel to probe the collapse of the building comprising the Nigeria Institute of Architects, Nigerian Institute of Town Planners, NITP, Nigeria Society of Engineers NSE, and other professional bodies, insurance brokers have expressed disappointment that neither insurers nor brokers were included in the committee.

NCRIB President, Mr. Rotimi Edu in an exclusive interview with our correspondent yesterday said they cannot establish any form of insurance on the building.

He emphasised that the law provides that every public building must be insured against liability in the case of loss, damage to property, death or bodily injury that may be caused by collapse, fire, earthquake, storm or flood.

He said: “The developer of the collapsed 21-storey building, Femi Osibona who was among the 44 victims of the crash did not do insurance and this is unfortunate. Unless he went directly to insurers to insure it, we do not have any record of insurance among our members.

“We wrote a letter to Governor Sanwo-Olu after the incident to set up a committee to investigate the matter. We are disappointed that the Governor set up the committee without involving us.

“Shortly before the incident, Mr. Gbolahan Oki called me to have a meeting with some brokers. The date he called for was on the day of my investiture so we reschedule the meeting. Unfortunately, the incident happened days after. We plan to keep the flame burning to ensure that the law is obeyed and all public buildings are insured in the country. Never again should this happen in the country”, he noted.

The Director-General, Nigeria Insurers Association, Mrs. Yetunde Ilori affirmed that the association has also not established that the building was insured.

About 44 persons died in the incident.

Meanwhile, an insurance expert who spoke anonymously said the families of those who died in the building can sue the state government to make claims over the loss of their loved ones.

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