Why public assets suffer setback, by experts
They said the biggest challenge of the Nigerian economy has been the persistent inability to articulate a sustainable national and sub-national policy framework, ensures effective maintenance of public assets, buildings, infrastructure and facilities.
The stakeholders spoke at a policy dialogue on maintenance of public asset and infrastructure at the Muson Centre, Onikan Lagos themed “Effective Maintenance as a tool for National Development ” to commemorate World Facilities Management Week, organized by Klinserv Solutions Limited and International Facilities Services (IFS) Group.
Setting the tone of the discussion, Executive Chairman of Klinserv Solutions Limited and Group Managing Director of the International Facilities Services (IFS) Group; Dr. Tunde Ayeye said, “From bad roads, to poorly maintained bridges, non-functional health centers and hospitals, dilapidated school buildings, refineries our national power infrastructure.
He added, “anywhere you look; it is evident that the issue of poor maintenance of our public facilities demands national attention.”
Minister of Power, Works and Housing Babatunde Fashola, who was a special guest, stressed the need to build what he termed a maintenance economy.
According to the minister, maintenance is a very lucrative business in countries across the world.
He noted that the development of skills acquisition centres by successive governments in the past 20 years was to develop manpower to handle the maintenance of critical infrastructure in the country.
He urged governments at all levels to always ensure that public utilities and institution are always maintained.
“My argument simply is that the problem is not the absence of a maintenance culture, but the absence of a maintenance economy and we need to start doing something about that now.
“Until we create a maintenance economy, it would be difficult for a lot of the unemployed graduates to be able to find a job. There is need to encourage skills acquisition,” he added.
Fashola said his ministry is planning to build Independent Power Plants in federal universities across the country as well as repair roads within the tertiary institutions. The Minister stated “we found out that bridges across the country lacked maintenance over the years. We have done assessment of all the bridges in Nigeria and we have developed a three-year plan for that intervention and it will cost us N277 billion to do that.”
Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris stated that facility management was essential in the public health sector in order to deliver quality service. He explained that it was because of the importance of facility management that the Lagos State government pioneered the Office of Facility Management and Maintenance in Nigeria.
The primary objective, Dr Idris further said, was to ensure that all public buildings, facilities and installations operate at optimal capacity.
The department was also saddled with the task of coordinating and supervising safe and efficient operation, maintenance and long term preservation of the assets of the state government in a cost effective manner.
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