NAICOM threatens prosecution of collapsed building owners



Thursday, 19 August 2010 00:00 From Abosede Musari, Abuja



INSURANCE industry regulator, National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), has threatened to prosecute the owner of the uncompleted four-storey building that collapsed off Gimbiya Street in Area 11, Abuja.

The threat to prosecute the owner of the building, who was not available during The Guardian’s visit to the scene, was handed down by the Commission, during a visit of its officials to the site.    

The Commission’s Director of Research and Statistics, Adamu Balanti, who represented the Commissioner, Fola Daniel, said that the Commission would find out if the building was insured in line with the compulsory building insurance policy. If not, the organisation would have no choice than to prosecute the owner.


Balanti said that the law on compulsory building insurance stipulates that all buildings that are more than two floors and under construction must be insured in order to protect the workers and passers-by that may possibly sustain injuries through accidents. The building in question was a four-storey work.


He restated the Commission’s commitment to ensure that compulsory insurances are enforced. He promised to show example with the case of the just collapsed house and that all state governments would be encouraged to ensure that no building above two stories is approved for construction without prior insurance cover.


“We intend in this case, to find out if the owner of this building is covered by insurance. If not, we will prosecute him. Just like Lagos State has just done by the Building Control Act, we will work with the government to ensure that no building is approved without insurance cover. We will go around to ensure that other state governments follow the same lead. In this case, we will show example to ensure that anyone constructing without insurance is prosecuted,’ he said.


On the other hand, a survivor of the collapsed building, Husseini Abubakar, who spoke with The Guardian, said that the incident happened at about 5 a.m. last Wednesday when he, woke up from sleep, noticed that the house was shaking and that blocks were coming down.
Realising what was about to happen, he quickly jumped out of the window from his second floor apartment only to see the building collapsed behind him not up to 10 seconds after touching the ground.


He blamed the Development Control Department of the Federal Capital Development Agency (FCDA), for not demolishing the whole house when a fault was earlier noticed.
Abubakar explained that three stories were approved for the owner of the house but he went ahead to build four floors, defiling the instructions from (FCDA).


“Development Control Department contributed to the collapse of the building because they approved three stories but the contractor added another one, making four. Development Control department then served a demolition notice. I received the letter on behalf of the house owner but instead of demolishing the house, they agreed to remove just the last floor manually. This must have affected the pillar of the house, hence the collapse.”



Source: Guardian



Comments are closed.