A Nigeria sees effective maintenance of infrastructure as key drivers of economic sustainability

The International Facility Management Association (IFMA) Nigeria Chapter has called for the effective maintenance and sustainable management of public facilities and infrastructure as key drivers of Nigeria’s economic transformation in the post-Covid era. Accordingly, IFMA said sustainable maintenance creates improved efficiency, optimizes utility and longevity of infrastructure.

IFMA disclosed further that sustained maintenance of public facilities does not only create a friendly environment that is visually appealing but generates constant jobs and wealth for a significant part of the population, particularly the youth, thereby growing the economy. The Association made this call at its second edition of Facility Management Advocacy Day held recently in Lagos with the theme, ‘Effective and Sustainable Management of Public Facilities and Infrastructure – Evaluating the reality to explore the possibilities’

Segun Adebayo, the president of IFMA (Nigeria Chapter), said that Nigeria as a progressive state has huge potential for growth and capacity to progressively develop. Hence, the Advocacy Day was initiated to create a platform for critical stakeholders and operators in the built environment to have strategic conversations and discussions on matters of utmost importance to the collective interest and concerns as a professional body. “This is our way of changing the narratives and the trajectory of the industry and the built environment,” he said.

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He noted that the maiden edition held 2019, which focuses on sustainable facility management as a panacea for nation-building has provided the needed feedback which have also propelled IFMA into doing more towards a better operating environment. “The consistent implementation of the takeaway from the maiden edition has equally translated to the theme of today’s event with sustainability as a common word in both themes,” said Adebayo.

Babatunde Fashola, the minister of Works and Housing, said the theme of the advocacy day is very important and central to sustainable public facilities and infrastructure management. According to Fashola, infrastructure is the basic physical and organizational structures needed for the operation of any society. Hence, he posits that public facilities and infrastructure development are one of the bases of assessing the achievements of government and also an indicator of the quality of governance.

Represented by Tina Onokwai, director, Federal Public Asset Management, Fashola stated that sustainable cities and communities are the 11th of the 17th Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). He further identifies sustainable infrastructure and facility management as a pertinent index that instigates response to sustainability as a universal code to preserving what you have for tomorrow’s generation; through continuous maintenance of existing public facilities and infrastructure.

Fashola also noted maintenance is a sector of an economy that significantly impacts the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) index of a nation. “It is worthy to note that the management of public facilities and infrastructure enhances performance, durability, and sustainability across the entire infrastructure from roads, buildings, office, accommodation, industrial buildings, and hospitals among others”.

According to him, the federal government has created a new department of Federal Public Assets Maintenance in the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing to pursue the ideas of national public building maintenance policy, which in the long run will be embraced and extended to the state and local governments.

He added that the federal government is committed to addressing the infrastructure gap in all sectors of the Nigerian economy through the development of the National Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan (NIMP), saying that maintenance of existing public facilities is key to bridging infrastructure gaps, and there are numerous opportunities in infrastructure jobs.

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