The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, has urged the private sector to lead the drive to revive the maintenance culture in the country.

Fashola, who spoke at the event to commemorate the International Facility Management Association (IFMA) Nigeria chapter’s 25th anniversary, which coincided with World Facility Management Day, in Lagos, on the theme: ‘Leading a Sustainable Future,’ said the private sector accounts for the majority of buildings and infrastructure in Nigeria.

“It is important to mention that facility management is a very expansive area of human activity that involves a diversity of skills whose impact will remain with us for a long time,” the minister said.

The minister also acknowledged the work of Lagos State Infrastructure and Asset Management Agency in the proper maintenance of infrastructure in Lagos state.

The anniversary celebration had in attendance various professionals across the built industry, including real estate practitioners and facility management professionals like the General Manager, Lagos State Infrastructure and Asset Management Agency, Miss. Nike Adekanbi; Managing Director, Alpha Mead Group, Femi Akintunde; Dean of Faculty of Environmental Sciences, University of Lagos, Prof. Modupe Omirin and a past president of IFMA, Stephen Jagun.

In his welcome address, IFMA Nigeria President, Mr. Segun Adebayo, commended the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing under the leadership of Mr. Babatunde Fashola for ensuring the Executive order 11 on National Public Buildings Maintenance, is enacted and implemented.

He said: “The effort of the Ministry of Works & Housing on this is a laudable achievement and has renewed our hope of providing professional attention to the country’s numerous facilities and growing infrastructure. In fact, with this feat I am delighted to say that maintenance culture has fully resurrected in our nation,” the President of IFMA Nigeria said.

According to him, the theme of the event clearly validates the leadership of the association in the industry and also confirms them as a forward- thinking association. “This you can see in our endless advocacy and strategic collaborations with credible public and private institutions,” he added.

Adebayo stressed the association’s commitment to ensure the practice of facility management is taken beyond what it is presently in Nigeria.

“Facility management in Nigeria has come to stay, especially with the Executive order 11 that seeks the maintenance of public facilities. We are not only committed but we will continue to ensure that we take facility management to greater heights so everyone can imbibe the culture now that it has resurrected,” he said.

Adekanbi told The Guardian that the agency has set a framework for maintenance. “We have shown that public buildings are important, therefore, your private buildings should be important.”

At the event, five students each from five Government Technical Colleges in Lagos including Government Technical College, Ikotun, Government Technical College, Ikorodu, Government Technical College, Epe, Government Technical College Agidingbi, were equipped with toolboxes, safety jackets and safety helmets as their discipline of learning falls within facility management. The 25 students were promised employment upon graduation.

One of the beneficiaries, Alex Michael, a student of Government Technical College, Epe, told The Guardian that the event changed his mindset towards facility management.

“I have learnt that as a technician, I need to take maintenance very seriously because it is only when you maintain public facilities that those facilities will be useful to you. I have also learnt that I should focus more on renewable energy because it is safer for the environment,” Alex said.

IFMA Nigeria was founded in 1995 by a group of professionals drawn across the industries within the built environment including architects, civil engineers, electrical engineers, and builders, amongst others who had a desire to provide Nigeria with the opportunity of developing a maintenance culture that will shape the future of the country.

The association, in collaboration with University of Lagos, has pioneered a professional master’s degree programme in facility management. The association has also organiszed various programmes in conjunction with the Lagos State Development and Property Corporation (LSDPC).

Source : The Guardian