Experts have stressed the need for proper use of facility managers in the management of national assets and facilities.
They spoke at an event to mark the 2019 World International Facility Management (FM) Day and launch of Lagos State Maintenance Cultured Initiative, organised by the State Government in collaboration with the Nigerian Chapter of the International Facility Management Association.
According to them, there is need for advocacy and more awareness on the works of facility managers, as many Nigerians out of ignorance do not consult facility manager, who should be part of the team to design infrastructure projects.
Leading the call in his lecture, Centre Director/Managing Consultant, Lagos State DNA and Forensic Centre, Dr. Richard Somiari said facility management was critical to organizations’ functions and productivity.
According to him, many people erroneously thought that Facility Manager involved only cleaning a building but that it was much more than that and required skill and certification.
Aina, an engineer also called for sustainable maintenance culture to protect and preserve facilities for future generations.
He further expressed hope that Lagos State government and the contractor handling the Oshodi international transport interchange has a facility management strategy in place to ensure continuous maintenance of the facility.
In his remarks, the General Manager, Lagos State Infrastructure Asset Management Agency (LASIAMA), Mr. Oladeji Williams said the state government would establish call centres for better management and maintenance of its assets, infrastructure and facilities across the state.
According to him, the state government would also maximize the use of trained artisans that graduated from its various skills acquisition centres across the state to close the unemployment gap.
Williams said that the Maintenance Cultured Initiative policy was initiated by the Akinwunmi Ambode administration to ensure maintenance culture, create jobs and upgrade as well as utilize skills of its trained artisans.
According to him, state government has the most holistic and aggressive maintenance implementation agenda in Nigeria and was the first with an agency dedicated to Infrastructure Management and Maintenance.
In his remarks, a member of Lagos State House of Assembly, representing Epe Constituency 1, Mr. Abiodun Tobun, stressed the need to increase budgetary allocation for facility management in the state.
He spoke, while presenting the award of the best Facility Manager of the year 2018 to Mr. Durotiwon Kayode of Kandaylin Nigeria Limited.
Meanwhile, the immediate past Managing Director of the NMRC, Prof. Charles Iyangetteh said the country needs N398.1 trillion to bridge infrastructure deficit.
Iyangetteh, who stated this at FM Forum organised by Total Facilities Management Limited in Abuja, observed that Nigeria with about 198 million population has a housing deficit of 17- 23million.
He added that over 50 per cent of Nigerians already live in cities, with 34 per cent below the poverty line and 68 per cent below empowerment line.
He noted that by 2050, Nigeria alone will contribute nearly 10 percent of the world’s total population adding that this momentous shift will bring nearly 200 million new people into cities, create over 20 new middle-tier cities, and ensuring that Lagos rival Beijing, Mexico City and Sao Paolo in size.
Iyangetteh also pointed out that in order to bridge the housing deficit, there is need to build more houses, be more innovative in the way we build, use technology to make the buildings cheaper and also use local materials.
Also speaking, the Managing Director Total Fairies Management Ltd. Mrs Nwwando Chukwurah said the annual forum is to serve as a platform to change the current narrative of the industry as an all comers affair and a cost center and also to raise the profile of facilities management as strategic to organization’s financial performance or success.
She noted that there is an increased disruption of the facility management practice by evolving technologies adopted, as firms seek to enhance value delivery and differentiation.