Established over a decade ago, the Nigerian Housing Awards (NHA) is widely known as the gold standard for performance excellence in the mortgage banking and affordable housing.
Every year, the organizers of the Abuja international Housing Show, present Awards to those individuals and corporations that have helped further our Corporate Mission of ensuring that Nigerians have affordable and decent homes. In particular, we recognize exemplary real estate developments and communities that demonstrate creativity in expanding housing opportunities for Nigeria’s working families.
Affordable housing projects are often the hardest to pull together, but at the same time, the most inspiring to complete. These awards are presented during the Annual Gala Dinner held on the evening of the final day of the Abuja International Housing Show-the largest housing event in west Africa.
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Sponsorship of the NHA provides a unique opportunity to reach influencers and thought leaders of housing finance and affordable housing at the industry’s premier awards event, and includes premium placement of your organization’s brand in the event program and on NHA’s website www.nha2018.com
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says the present administration is paying N5,000 monthly to over 300,000 of the poorest families across the country. The vice president said the payment was being done without discrimination along party lines.
Get your daily housing news on your mobile phone : Download from goggle playstore Now Speaking on Thursday in Umuahia at the launch of Abia State Tele-Health Support Centre, Osinbajo said the federal government was giving loans to over 300,000 traders and artisans, feeding 125,624 pupils in 742 schools “and we have 1,569 cooks in total; for microcredit loans under our GEEP scheme, we have given loans to 7,585 small businesses.” He said the government had so far invested about N2.4 billion of the Social Investment Programmes’ funds in Abia State “and specifically in healthcare, we have the Saving One Million Lives Initiative, which has made available $1.5 million to each state government – including Abia State – to improve the quality of basic healthcare available especially to our women and children.”
The vice president said the federal government’s plan for the nation was a universal health coverage for all Nigerians. “Health insurance is the most effective way of ensuring access to healthcare when needed and at the same time funding our healthcare system, and ensuring that healthcare personnel are well rewarded,” he said.
He said President Muhammadu Buhari was committed to the welfare of all Nigerians, especially the poorest and most vulnerable, regardless of their ethnic or political affiliations.
READ:ABUJA INTERNATIONAL HOUSING SHOW – THE LARGEST HOUSING AND CONSTRUCTION EXPO IN WEST AFRICA “This commitment has meant two things. First is President Buhari’s determination to break from the past where the federal government only supported states where the party in office was their own. At the inauguration of the NEC in 2015, he publicly declared that our own NEC will assist every state because poverty in our nation is no respecter of ethnic group, religion or party affiliation. Consequently, as of today the federal government has supported states without discrimination along party lines to the tune of N1.91 Trillion.
“The second is that the Federal government has prioritized social and economic policies and programmes that will bring the greatest benefit to the greatest number of our people. We have examples of these in our Social Investment Programmes. Today, we are feeding 7.5 million children in our Home-grown School Feeding Programme in 22 States. We have employed 200,000 graduates in our N-Power scheme, 300,000 more are waiting to be formally engaged. Every single local government in Nigeria is covered,” Osinbajo said.
He said the creation of the Abia State Tele-Health Support Centre would reduce the time spent travelling in search of healthcare, or waiting in line to see a doctor in healthcare facilities and close the access-to-healthcare gap between urban and rural areas. “It will also make Abia State standout, within and outside Nigeria, as a forward-looking, people-centred state; one that is open to new ideas and to life-changing innovation,” the vice president added.
The Eko Atlantic City in Lagos State has been chosen as the location for a technical visit as part of activities lined up for the 61st Meeting of the United Nations World Tourism Organization/Commission for Africa (UNWTO/CAF), scheduled for June 4 to 6 in Abuja.
The Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, announced this in Lagos on Thursday when he paid a visit to Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State to intimate him with details of the forthcoming international event.
Lagos, according to Mohammed, is crucial to the success of the meeting, as Eko Atlantic City is a promising city in Sub-Saharan Africa with many world class amenities.
He said the theme of the 61st UNWTO/CAF Meeting is ‘Tourism Statistics: A Catalyst for Development’.
”The visit is to thank the Governor for the support he has given for the hosting of the 61st United Nations World Tourism Organisation/CAF meeting. CAF is the Commission for Africa which comprises of 51 ministers of tourism in all of Africa.
”Nigeria won unanimously the right to host this conference about a year ago.
”Our visit to Governor Ambode is to thank him for his support so far and to intimate him that in recognition of Lagos State as a tourism haven, we have chosen the Eko Atlantic City as the area to visit with the 51 ministers.
”There is an event in the programme called ‘technical visit’ and we have chosen a visit to the Eko Atlantic City. The idea is to showcase to the world what Eko Atlantic City is all about.
”We have been there before during the World Tourism Day in 2016. Only recently, Mr President also was there on a tour of that city.
”So, we are now reinforcing this by bringing all the 51 African ministers to have an opportunity to see how Lagos State is investing in tourism,” he said.
The minister said that Nigeria would derive a lot of benefits from its hosting of the meeting.
He said it would put Nigeria and the nation’s tourism industry in global focus, in addition to attracting foreign research experts and promoting the necessary network that will form the basis for future cooperation.
”Also, it will provide Nigeria with the opportunity to showcase itself to the world, especially in the area of its culture and tourism; and of course, we have a lot to showcase: our tourist attractions, our rich culture, as well as our music and films, which have taken the world by storm,” he said.
The minister called on Nigerians to support the Federal Government in making the meeting a success, saying that the tourism world expects so much from Nigeria.
Responding, Gov. Ambode said that tourism provides the best platform to showcase and promote the nation’s culture, language and heritage.
”We believe strongly that we must emphasise more on our culture and our heritage and there is no other platform we can use other than the platform of tourism.
”So, we are in tandem with your vision and aspirations to make sure that we tell Nigerians the way our story was and the way our story is and also be able to tell outsiders who we are and who we want to be.
“For me, I need to support you because this is also in line with what we believe strongly that Nigerians ought to do.
“In the last three years, we have tried as much as possible to promote our heritage and also promote our languages.
”We do not want a situation where the Nigerian culture which is so rich and diverse will become extinct.
“That is why we must do everything in our own capacity to ensure that everything that the Federal Government is doing through the Ministry of Information and Culture, in bringing the unity of Nigerian together, is supported by this government.
”I want to reiterate that we are happy to be part of this event coming up. We want to showcase Lagos as a tourist State; our drive is to make Lagos State the tourist hub of Africa; we are getting near it,” Ambode said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Nigeria secured the hosting right for the meeting during the 60th Meeting of the UNWTO/CAF in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in April 2017.
Officials of the Abuja Metropolitan Management Council under the Federal Capital Territory Administration, on Saturday, March 24, 2018, carried out an exercise to remove shanties at the Gosa Market along the Abuja Airport Road. The whole idea behind the removal, as was stated, was to clean the area and free it from obstructing traffic moving into the city of Abuja.
Prior to the demolition, these officials, in line with laid down regulations, met several times with the owners of the illegal stalls to make them understand the need to keep the airport expressway free from obstruction so as to save lives and property against frequent accidents.
The case was also made that the airport expressway being the main gateway to the country could not afford to have such unsightly and unplanned structures littering the whole area, giving visitors a wrong impression about the country. It was further agreed that the traders would limit their activities to 500 metres away from the expressway.
Unfortunately, these illegal stalls continued to spring up and spill right onto the expressway, thereby endangering the lives of motorists plying that very important gateway to the city and leading to numerous accidents with casualties.
One could therefore understand why the FCT Administration took the path it did in clearing these illegal structures to save the Abuja master plan from needless distortions. This is because some of these developments, if left unchecked, have the potential to derail the city from the visions of its founding fathers and turn Abuja into an urban slum.
However, following that demolition, some of the aggrieved persons cashed in and set up bonfires on the road leading to traffic obstruction and heavy gridlock on that very important road. Some of them even claimed that they were not informed before the demolition took place which clearly is not the case because these traders, mainly of the Gbagi extraction, had in the past staged similar protests against the planned relocation of the market.
Much as one may want to sympathise with the traders whom it would seem have had their major source of livelihood cut off abruptly, the fact however cannot be overlooked that their activities along the airport road had become a major source of concern due to the danger they posed to motorists and the city’s ambience.
Those familiar with that route would agree that the uncontrolled expansion of the Gosa Market led to the pedestrian paths and service lanes becoming part of the market, further making it a nuisance to road users. The place equally became inundated by commercial vehicles and the road began to witness cases of recklessness on the use of the roads.
This is the reason for some of the accidents being witnessed on that road due to regular cases of gross violation of traffic rules with motor cyclists and cab drivers running against traffic in order to do brisk business. Travellers on the Airport road on a daily basis, especially on Fridays also suffered untold hardships on their ways, to and fro Abuja, as they had to endure gruelling traffic hold-ups occasioned by traders blocking the road which also resulted to missing of flights and time wastage.
The action of the FCT Administration therefore became inevitable which no doubt is with a view to saving lives and arresting gross violation of traffic rules on a major gateway to the city.
But the administration also proved it still remains sympathetic to the cause of these traders as what it has done so far is to remove the empty stalls in the area, sparing the containers that were under lock and key with wares inside them but with further instruction that they must be removed before their next visit.
It is also gladdening to see that another location has been identified much deeper into the Gosa community with a capacity to accommodate over 1,500 traders as well as a parking space for about 500 cars.
So, rather than staging protests and taking the law into their own hands by obstructing the expressway with bonfires and roadblocks, the affected traders should go into dialogue with the FCTA to fast-track the process of settling into the new location that has been set aside for the market.
With the dearth of decent and affordable accommodation biting harder among Nigerians coupled with the attendant escalating cost of rents, the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas, recently said that only 30 per cent of the officers, representing 6,000 personnel have permanent accommodation.
Ibas, who spoke during the commissioning of the Nigerian Navy Officers Quarters at Kubwa, said the facility would house only about 66 officers and the their families, noting that the situation would degenerate if deliberate steps are not taken to address the accommodation needs of officers.
In order to nip more problems related to accommodation in the bud, the Chief of Naval Staff appealed to the Ministry of Defence to accord the Nigerian Navy appropriate considerations in the intervention projects of barracks’ provisions.
He stated that aside the accommodation, 70 per cent of its personnel welfare needs were unmet resulting in significant gaps in the accommodation needs of both officers and men in the country.
“For instance, the Nigerian Navy is only able to cater for permanent accommodation of 6,000 of its personnel, which represents less than 30 per cent of its total accommodation needs.Additionally, due to the peculiarities of military deployments, transfer accommodations are also required for personnel serving outside locations of their permanent residence.
“To this end, only about 4,500 personnel, which is less than 40 per cent of the required transit accommodation has been achieved. With a projected annual need of about 2,500 ratings and 200 officers, the accommodation situation will continue to worsen if deliberate steps are not taken in the short and medium terms to match intake,” he noted.
One of the compelling developmental objectives in the NN transformation plan, which is instituting affordable housing ownership schemes for personnel and provision of adequate accommodation will be met, he assured the personnel.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defence, Nuratu Batagarawa, while commissioning the project, said she hoped that the accommodation would boost the morale and operational efficiency of the personnel towards contributing positively in enhancing improved maritime security and nation building.
She noted that accommodation challenges “in view of the NN peculiar inadequate barrack accommodation situation, will be given more consideration to ensure delivery of more living quarters to NN personnel. Our ability to account for the funds spent on this project makes it easier to attract more government funding,” she stated.
A proposed amendment to the Federal Government Staff Housing Loans Board (FGSHLB) Act, before the House of Representatives, has set the stage for federal public servants to derive guaranteed benefits from their contributions to the National Housing Fund (NHF). An Abuja public analyst, Isaiah Abraham, writes that if the amendment scales through, the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria’s (FMBN) in the Housing Fund scheme, would have been broken.
Proposal before the House of representative committee seeking to transfer 50 percent of the contributions of Federal civil servants from the National Housing Fund (NHF), to the Federal Government Staff Housing Loans Board (FGSHLB), if passed into law, may change the fortunes of civil servants desirous of owning their own houses. The NHF Act, which became operation in 1993, compels workers to contribute two and half per cent of their salaries, deductible at source, to the fund. It also empowers the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), the power to manage the funds contributed by workers.
However, there is a snag in the Act; the FMBN operates as a secondary mortgage institution, and as such does not deal with individual contributors, making access to the fund by contributors challenging.
Since 2000, the organised labour has been kicking against the continued contribution by workers to the NHF on the ground that there was no guaranteed benefit. Labour’s grouse against the scheme was that as at 2006, about 1.8 million workers were registered from 17,132 employers, under the NHF, with a contribution of about N6 billion, but according to labour, only less than N280 million has been disbursed to about 446 contributors as loans.
Labour further claimed that between 1993 and 2006, about N20 billion has been contributed by workers to the NHF without any widespread benefit, closing the doors against the Federal Government Staff Housing Board, which has been operating a social welfare scheme by providing houses for Federal Government workers since 1924, in the cold.
Under the proposed amendment of the Federal Government Staff Housing Loans Board Act, Section 8 of the Bill is proposing that 50 per cent of Federal Public Service contributions to the NHF should be channeled to the Loans Board to guarantee contributors’ access to the fund.
In his lead presentation at the a Public Hearing, conducted by the House of Representatives Committee on Public Service Matters, on March 27, 2018, Director, Legal Services, Office of the Head of Service of the Federation, Mr. Emmanuel Omonowa, proposed that “in view of the fact that contributions to the NHF is being done by Federal Public Employees, 50 per cent should be ordered in the Act to be amended to be paid to the loans Board”.
In justifying this position, Omonowa argued that upon a civil servant retirement, he is asked to bring a certificate from the Federal Government Staff Housing Loans Board to indicate that he is not indebted to the Board. “So, if these are the people contributing and they must come to the Board to obtain a certificate to show that they do not owe, why not put their contribution here? So that when they come for their certificate, if they have not obtained any loan, then you put their contributions together and give it to them.”
Instead, he said, what obtains is that deductions are made at source from public servants’ salaries and given to the primary mortgage institutions to build houses that civil servants cannot buy, adding that the contributor, who should be helped to put money together to own a House, cannot own a House and cannot get his contributions back. “This ought not to continue, so that we do not have our senior citizens, retiring with heart attack,”he said.
FGSHLB Executive Secretary, Mrs. Hannatu Adamu Fika, debunked claims that the FMBN has been funding the activities of the Board. She maintained that the only partnership that exists between the board and the FMBN was initiated to douse tension among workers.
“Recently, in other to douse the tension among contributors to the NHF from the public service, we were able to broker renovation loans of N1 million. For the past two years, FMBN has been giving us N1.5 billion; this amount cannot fund the Federal Government Staff Housing Loans Board. Our funds come from the government and even the N1.5 billion that they have been giving us, there have been schools of thought that we are not a PMI (Primary Mortgage Institution), and it should be discontinued. So, the issue of they (Federal Mortgage Bank) funding us is not completely true,” Fika said.
But at the committee hearing, a representative of the FMBN revealed that the NHF Act, which empowers the mortgage bank to manage the affairs of the fund, is opened to all contributors to the Fund, insisting that Civil Servants and then the Public sectors have been benefitting from it. The representative further explained that although the Act provided for the monies collected (through NHF), to be channeled through Primary Mortgage Institutions (PMIs), for lending to contributors, the bank has been seeking to amend its our own Act and then the NHF Act, to meet the realities of the present time.
He added that in an effort to ensure that civil servants that cannot afford the equity contributions for mortgage are catered for, the Bank came up with the product, “Home Renovation Loan,” so that most of them, who cannot go through the NHF, to access funding for building or to buy a House outright, can at least, renovate their existing homes. The same goes for the Federal Integrated Staff Housing (FISH) product too, which is targeted at ensuring that houses are delivered to civil servants all over the Federation.
But labour disagreed. Speaking through one of its representatives on the Board of the Federal Government Staff Housing Loans Board, Mr. Ejiofor, the group said: “The NHF, who contributes to it? As at today, largely, it is Federal Employees who contribute. As a result, you use the funds of Federal Employees to fund Mortgage owners or Mortgage system, in which the workers, themselves, cannot pay the terms. That is the critical issue. State governments, most of them, are not in that scheme and we are saying that Federal Public Employees, who are the main contributors, as of today, must benefit more. Does the NHF give annual returns?”
Continuing, he lamented that workers and contributors to the NHF would retire or die, and their contributions to the fund is not refunded on time. For him, the Federal Government Staff Housing Loans Board exist wholly for federal public employees, and as a result the bulk of their contribution should go there. That is equity. “But to take the contributions of poor workers and fund mortgage institutions, who in most cases, provide Housing Schemes for the rich is an aberration,” Ejiofor maintained.
Similarly, a representative of Senior Civil Servants Association of Nigeria, Mr. Apebo Joshua, told the House committee the contribution of public servants should be transferred to the Federal Government Staff Housing Loans Board. This, he argued, is because his colleagues do not benefit from their contributions to the NHF being managed by the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria.
“Even if the FMBN gives private developers money to build houses, they would build houses that are not affordable by civil servants. The contributions to NHF should be channeled to the Federal Government Staff Housing Loans Board, so that we can be able to access loans,” he said. However, between the old order and the proposed new order, in the administration of the National Housing Fund, it is fingers crossed, as the Bill continues its legislative journey.
THE Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has defended its 2018 Budget proposal of N40, 297,122,872.00 before the Senate.
Making the presentation to the Senate Committee on Federal Capital Territory (FCT) at the National Assembly, the minister of FCT, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello said the proposal was in accordance with the N40.3 billion envelope given to the FCT as its National Priority Budget by the Federal Ministry of Budget and National Planning.
He said 27 critical infrastructure projects totalling N40,297,122.27 have been prioritized for action under the proposal.
These, according to him, include the B6, B12 and Circle roads traversing the National Stadium, Villa and back to the Stadium; the Greater Abuja Water Works project as well as the Extension of Inner Southern Expressway (Is3x) from the Central Bank/National Christian Centre to Galadimawa Roundabout.
Provisions totalling N1.2 billion were also made for in infrastructure development at major satellite towns of Kubwa, Karshi and Bwari to help stave off the weight of expansion being witnessed in the city, while major utilities and social services covering education, water supply and security at the UN building have been effectively provided for.
“This is what has been given to us and based on that and in line with our desire to first and foremost continue existing critical infrastructural projects and also highlight one or two that have the potential of giving the greatest benefits to the largest number of people, we highlighted a total of 27 projects which we hope, if this distinguished committee passes, will enable us to continue many infrastructure projects and hopefully get some of them out of the budget.” He explained.
The minister disclosed that the N40.3 billion FCT 2018 budget was an improvement on the N30.4 billion that was allocated to the FCT for capital projects in 2017. He said N12,198,561,434.40 billion representing 40.1 percent of the total sum has so far been released and expended.
Bello who described the amount as very small said it tremendously affected the ability of the FCTA to discharge many of the infrastructure projects that are ongoing. He expressed his appreciation to the National Assembly for extending the window of expenditure for the 2017 Budget and stated that it will allow for more releases to be made to offset some critical infrastructural bills in the FCT.
He regretted that allocations to the FCT from the Federal Government have been gradually reducing over the years due to the reduction in the revenues accruable to the Federal Government as well as the perception that the FCT is maturing and should be able to fend for itself.
He disclosed that the FCTA is working to overcome the budget shortfall through its recently reconstituted FCT Internal Revenue Service.
Earlier in his remarks, the Chairman, Senate Committee on FCT, Senator Dino Melaye lamented that the FCT National Priority Budget has been declining from N109 billion in the recent past to N30.4 in 2017 and N40.3 billion in 2018.
According to him, “It is worthy of note that in 2017, out of the N30,397,122,872 budget of FCT Administration, only N12,198,561,435.40 was accessed, leaving an unreleased balance of N18,198,561,436.60.
“The budget gives a performance of 40.1 percent, while expenditure against actual release gives hundred percent performance. This is worrisome to the Committee and I’m sure to the residents of the FCT as well.” He said the Committee has resolved to better a lot of FCT residents by ensuring full implementation of the 2018 budget.” He added.
He used the occasion to appeal to the Ministers of Finance and of Budget and National Planning to consider the priority place of FCT as the national capital in allocating funds to it.
Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has approved the construction of 60 roads across the state’s 18 local government areas to bring development closer to the people and open up rural communities for business activities.
Obaseki said infrastructure development being pursued by the government would engender job creation and poverty alleviation, as 7,000 youths would be engaged during the roads construction.
Obaseki, represented by Taiwo Akerele, his Chief of Staff, during the inspection of ongoing road construction at Ogunmwenyin community, Lucky Way, Osayande Ize-Iyamu Drive and Nneka Street in Ugbor Village, said, “The roads to be constructed are semi-rural/urban roads, ranging from one kilometre to 1.5 kilometres. The effort is geared towards deepening the spread of economic enablers to engender development.”
The inspection train also got to Amagba Community, where the governor assured of the re-construction of the major road, noting: “We don’t talk too much, but we assure you that the construction of Amagba Road will commence soon.
“In road construction, there are procurement processes and procedures that are involved and must be followed. By the time these processes and procedures are completely addressed, the construction of other roads will commence, as contractors will be mobilised to site.”
“The road construction will reduce the level of poverty in rural areas, as the construction of roads will open the areas for economic activities,” he said.
He said the inspection exercise was to ensure that contractors handling the projects work in accordance with specification.
“The communities where roads are being constructed must ensure that the projects are protected. The state government will sign a Community Action Agreement (CAA) with communities where projects are sited, and failure to ensure the protection of projects will mean no additional project will be sited in such places.
“We are not only interested in building infrastructure in the state, but also developing human capacity. One hundred and eighty-eight direct jobs have been created through the construction of the one kilometre road project in Ogunmwenyin community,” he said.
The National Population Commission (NPC) has put Nigeria’s current population at 198 million people with urban population growing at an average annual growth rate of about 6.5 per cent Chairman of NPC, Mr Eze Duruiheoma, stated this in New York while delivering Nigeria’s statement on Sustainable Cities, Human Mobility and International Migration at the 51st Session of Commission on Population and Development. Duruiheoma said: “Nigeria remains the most populous in Africa, the seventh globally with an estimated population of over 198 million.
“The recent World Population Prospects predicts that by 2050, Nigeria will become the third most populated country in the world. “Over the last 50 years, the Nigeria’s urban population has grown at an average annual growth rate of more than 6.5 per cent without commensurate increase in social amenities and infrastructure. ”It grew substantially from 17.3 in 1967 to 49.4 per cent in 2017. In addition, the 2014 World Urbanisation Prospects report, predicts that by 2050, most of the population – 70 per cent – will be residing in cities.
”The 2010 human mobility Survey report revealed that 23 per cent of the sampled population were of more females than males” He said the category of population mostly engaged in urbanisation and migration were young people of teenage and adolescents’ girls and boys, women of child bearing age and the working age population. He said existing urbanisation trend coupled with internally displaced persons (IDPs) in cities, pose critical challenges to securing sustainability of our cities, including efforts to make them smart and responsive to human influx.
The Displacement Tracking Matrix round XXI of January 2018 identified estimated 1.7 million IDPs in over 321,580 households across six states of North-East Nigeria with 40 per cent residing in camp-like settings in urban areas plus 1.4 million returnees. ”The number of IDPs represented 4.5 per cent increase compared to the 1,702,680 identified in Round XX (Dec. 2017).” Duruiheoma said like in other developing countries, Nigerian cities hosted wide spread poverty, under-employment and unemployment at an average of 18.4 per cent, according to the National Bureau of Statistics 2017 report. The NPC boss bemoaned the insecurity and inadequate and inequitable health care services for adolescents and women of child bearing age. ”Nigeria continues to commit to solving the challenges of insurgents in the Northeast, which has induced a high number of internally displaced persons.
“We acknowledge that women, children and particularly the girl child are often the most vulnerable in these displacements, and in this regard, we remain focused on the wellbeing of these vulnerable parts of our population.We are committed to providing adequate health care services, reducing maternal mortality, rebuilding safe schools and empowering our women, ensuring no one is left behind in terms of achieving sustainable development.”
Duruiheoma said these challenges adversely impacted on the quality of life and standards of living of the urban populace. According to him, Nigeria stays committed to the twin goals of the Habitat Agenda – adequate shelter for all and the development of sustainable human settlements in an urbanising world.
Experts in the built environment have advocated for efficient facility management system as a means of sustaining national infrastructure across the country. Speaking to Housing News in Abuja, vice chairman of Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria (CORBON), Bldr.
Samson Opaluwah noted that the cycle of failure of national infrastructure and facilities soon after commissioning could only be prevented by introducing efficient facility management system. He pointed out that the days of relying solely on maintenance management is over adding that part of the indices of measuring people’s civilization are their regeneration and sustainability profile. Opaluwah wondered how Nigeria could break away from underdevelopment when the leadership failed to focus on sustainable developments. He said though the proceeds from the sales of oil were largely invested on infrastructure that Nigerians are yet to reap commensurate returns given the absence of efficient management plans even as he called for an urgent action to reverse what he described as ‘ugly trend’.
“The world has moved on and we need multidisciplinary competency to stay afloat and be relevant because some professions will soon be lost to information technology as their expertise can be obtained by the click of a bottom. Let’s arise and jumpstart our development by acquiring current technologies and move on”, he added. The vice chairman enjoined professionals to adapt to the realities of the changing world and new technologies adding that they should not stick to 1970s technology and ideas in today’s emerging world without enrolling for fresh training. While noting that the built environment industries are the bane of national development, he maintained that the failure of other sectors could be traced to the improper structuring of the built environment components.
On his part, the managing director of Justin Okpu & Co limited, a facility management company, Prince Justin Okpu lamented that governments have often reduced the capacity and capability of growing the nation’s Gross Domestic Products (GDP’s) through improper management and maintenance of private and public infrastructure. He called for urgent management of national infrastructure and the need to end serial abandoned projects adding that the role of facility managers are crucial just like other members of the construction team.
Okpu debunked claims that facility management is same with property management adding that it’s a multi-disciplinary profession needed to sustain developmental efforts since the world is changing rapidly.
He said that the unnecessary bickering between facility managers and estate surveyors and valuers was irrelevant, advocating for stronger collaboration between the two professional bodies so as to sustain infrastructure in line with current economic realities. Explaining further the role of facility management, Okpu hinted that it entails managing the built environment by making it conducive and safe for people and its equipments.
“Becoming a core facility manager requires compliant with eleven competencies in skill sets and ability such as communication; emergency fitness with business continuity; environmental stewardship/sustainability; finance & business skill; human resource factor; leadership & strategy, operations & maintenance; project management; control; real estate & property management and technology”, he said. The facility expert stated that possessing such competencies is equivalent to possessing eleven certification which is a testimony of the huge task performed in facility management.