Ex­perts laud FG’S new pol­icy on pub­lic build­ing main­te­nance

…say it will cre­ate jobs

The Punch - - FINANCIAL PUNCH - Sto­ries: Mau­reen Ihua-maduenyi

Ex­perts in the built en­vi­ron­ment have com­mended the Fed­eral Govern­ment’s ini­tia­tive to­wards en­sur­ing proper main­te­nance of pub­lic build­ings in the coun­try.

they stated that it would help the econ­omy to grow by in­creas­ing the num­ber of fa­cil­ity man­age­ment en­trepreneurs.

the Se­nior Spe­cial As­sis­tant to Ogun State Gover­nor on Fa­cil­ity Man­age­ment, Mr Segun Ade­bayo, said the pol­icy would not only en­hance the qual­ity of na­tional as­sets but would also sup­port the preser­va­tion of the life cy­cle of new as­sets.

Ade­bayo, who is also the vice pres­i­dent, In­ter­na­tional Fa­cil­i­ties Man­age­ment As­so­ci­a­tion, Nige­ria Chap­ter, said the pol­icy would pro­pel the re­vival of main­te­nance cul­ture in the coun­try and in­crease the econ­omy of all the in­dus­try play­ers in­clud­ing ar­ti­sans.

“In fact, bet­ter days are here for all stake­hold­ers in the built en­vi­ron­ment,” he said.

the Min­is­ter of power, Works and Hous­ing, Mr Ba­batunde Fashola, dur­ing a Fed­eral Ex­ec­u­tive Coun­cil meet­ing last week, said the new main­te­nance pol­icy and frame­work would in­sti­tu­tion­alise a main­te­nance cul­ture in the coun­try.

Ac­cord­ing to him, the min­istry has car­ried out main­te­nance re­quire­ments of nine pub­lic build­ings in­clud­ing a school, hos­pi­tal and govern­ment of­fice build­ing, which were used as benchmark for Min­istries, De­part­ments and Agen­cies of govern­ment and for the con­sid­er­a­tion of FEC.

He stated that the new pol­icy would pro­vide an in­ven­tory of govern­ment as­sets through­out the coun­try and cre­ate jobs.

the min­is­ter ex­plained that the Fed­eral Govern­ment had never de­vel­oped such main­te­nance econ­omy, adding that it started with a na­tional pi­lot plan for in­ven­tory of all na­tional as­sets and a main­te­nance pro­cure­ment man­ual, which would be made avail­able to all the MDAS in the coun­try.

He added that it would give the govern­ment an as­sess­ment of the con­di­tions, value, and main­te­nance frame­work about what should be done af­ter as­sess­ments.

the Group Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor and Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer, Global prop­erty and Fa­cil­i­ties In­ter­na­tional Limited, Dr MKO Ba­lo­gun, said the pol­icy was the best thing to have hap­pened in the coun­try in re­cent times.

He said, “We have never had any struc­ture to­wards man­ag­ing pub­lic build­ings. As pro­fes­sion­als, we had ap­proached the Na­tional Assem­bly through the Min­istry of power, Works and Hous­ing and when they were putting the pol­icy doc­u­ment in place, we were in­vited to be part of it. So, for us, it is a very good de­vel­op­ment.

“It will es­tab­lish a main­te­nance cul­ture. Last year, the min­is­ter said the is­sue with Nige­ria is not main­te­nance cul­ture but main­te­nance econ­omy, and I com­pletely agree with him. If we don’t en­cour­age a sys­tem where peo­ple will see main­te­nance as a busi­ness, we will not get it done.”

Ba­lo­gun stated that for peo­ple to take fa­cil­ity man­age­ment se­ri­ously, they should get paid to man­age com­mer­cial build­ings.

“So, it is the right step in the right di­rec­tion. the Fed­eral Govern­ment owns the largest stock of build­ings in the coun­try and the pol­icy doc­u­ment also pro­vides some guide­lines for paras­tatals. At the end of the day, ev­ery­one that needs to catch up will and it will de­velop the econ­omy,” he said.

“We are cre­at­ing a cul­ture that will cre­ate fa­cil­ity man­age­ment ed­u­ca­tion and will help peo­ple to be­come en­trepreneurs in fa­cil­ity man­age­ment and thereby im­prov­ing the way the econ­omy grows,” he added.

Ba­lo­gun also ap­plauded the Fed­eral Govern­ment for cre­at­ing an op­por­tu­nity for pro­fes­sion­als in the built en­vi­ron­ment to con­trib­ute to the pol­icy doc­u­ment.

He said that prior to the de­vel­op­ment of the pol­icy, there were di­a­logue ses­sions with ar­chi­tects, es­tate sur­vey­ors and val­uers, en­gi­neers and other built en­vi­ron­ment ex­perts.

“the govern­ment deemed it fit to make it pub­lic by invit­ing pro­fes­sion­als in the in­dus­try to con­trib­ute to its de­vel­op­ment. For me, it is one of the best things com­ing out of this govern­ment; it will cre­ate a doc­u­ment that cov­ers all pub­lic build­ings in the coun­try so we can know when they were built, when they were last main­tained and so on,” he said.

An es­tate sur­veyor and valuer, Mr Sam Eboigbe, said that while the de­vel­op­ment was com­mend­able, the Fed­eral Govern­ment should also en­sure that fa­cil­ity man­age­ment must be pro­vided for at the plan­ning stage of any pub­lic build­ing.

He said, “Right from the de­sign stage even be­fore the con­struc­tion and com­ple­tion, there should be a well-planned de­sign so that the mo­ment the project is com­pleted, that is not when some­one should be ap­pointed.

“As at the time it is be­ing planned with the ar­chi­tect, en­gi­neers and oth­ers, a con­sul­tant who will be sad­dled with man­age­ment of the fa­cil­ity should be ap­pointed.”

Eboigbe said many pub­lic fa­cil­i­ties had been left to de­cay be­cause fa­cil­ity man­age­ment was not in­cluded in the plan at the con­struc­tion stage.

“these things hap­pen be­cause there is no main­te­nance cul­ture. But the ones they are about to start now, govern­ment should look for con­sul­tants to man­age them be­cause wait­ing to fin­ish the projects be­fore ap­point­ing some­one to man­age them is not the right process,” he said.

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