The Oyo State governor, Seyi Makinde, says there is a strong link between governance and facilities management (FM) in their respective roles in creating and maintaining livable and sustainable environment.
The governor who was a keynote speaker at the 2020 edition of the Nigeria Facilities Management (FM) Roundtable, explained that, as with governance, people hardly commend facilities managers when things are going right, but immediately the ball drops, everyone remembers the facilities manager.
The Nigeria FM Roundtable is an annual thought leadership, business-to-business, and policy roundtable sponsored by Alpha Mead Facilities, the FM Subsidiary of leading total real estate solutions company, Alpha Mead Group, in commemoration of World FM Day.
This year’s edition which had as theme, ‘Managing the Environment in a Time of Pandemic: People, Places, and Technology’, was a virtual gathering in deference to the ravaging coronavirus pandemic. It had over 400 participants from 17 countries of the world.
Femi Akintunde, Group Managing Director of Alpha Mead, in his opening remarks, explained that the essence of this year’s roundtable was to ensure that the voices of FM professionals were heard, and that the profession play a significant role in Africa’s recovery agenda.
“As a leader in the industry, we appreciate that our position comes with a lot of responsibilities. This includes showcasing the successes of FM in our clime, creating a platform to raise the standards of our profession, and positioning FM as one of the key players in Africa’s economic growth agenda,” he said.
Makinde commended Alpha Mead for its leadership of the facilities management industry in Nigeria, and also the FM professionals for their contributions to the health, safety and productivity of people during this period of the pandemic.
He noted that, globally, technology was playing a critical role in helping to manage people and restructure the environment to effectively control and contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, pointing out that FM was playing a critical role behind the scene.
“I have repeatedly said in Oyo State that we will be following the dictates of science, data and logic in our fight against COVID-19. Science requires that we isolate infected people, logic dictates that we must consider our socio-economic factors before deciding on our control and containment measures, and data will continue to help us improve on our environmental strategies for a prosperous state. If we do not take these things into consideration, our strategies will fail”, the governor warned.
One of the things people have complained about in the management of the COVID-19 pandemic in Oyo, according to the governor, is the enforcement of directives. “But we know that social distancing is not innate to people. So, rather than a hard stance, logic is guiding us to invest in sensitization and ensuring that people get the right incentives that will make them adhere to the guidelines,” he said.
He noted that government has been having a running battle with space during the period, adding that rather than take up the various offers for existing spaces to be adopted as is for isolation centres, his government is taking a different approach with considerations for the longer term.
“We are taking the difficult route of redesigning places to be able to handle both management and control of COVID-19 cases. This is an expensive and time-consuming effort, but we remain committed to our promise to the people”, the governor assured.
Mutiu Sunmonu, chairman of Alpha Mead Group, had noted that although the global theme for the World FM Day is ‘Celebrating the Environment’, current realities have necessitated the need to contextualize the theme.
“I believe the theme we have chosen is very topical to help all stakeholders appreciate the fuller ramification of FM as not just a profession that manages buildings, but a business function that manages the environment for business sustainability and people productivity,” he said.
Host of the roundtable and Managing Director of Alpha Mead Facilities, Wole Olufore, in his speech charged FM professionals “to help the communities, government and private businesses we support to manage people and places by leveraging technology in a way that ensures continuous safety during this pandemic and speedy recovery post-pandemic.”
Panellists at the online event were leading environmentalist, Desmond Majekodunmi; Babatunde Green, MD, Alpha Mead Healthcare Management Services; Jerome Eshun, Economist and Former MD, NHTC Properties, Ghana; Francis Gasana, Chairman, Private Sector Federation, Rwanda; and Wale Odufalu, Group ED, Corporate Services, Alpha Mead Group and Chair IWFM Nigeria Region.
The World FM Day is a day earmarked globally to celebrate Facilities Management and enable conversations on the important role the profession plays in enabling people productivity, business profitability and environmental responsibility.