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FG’s new policy to give facelift to public buildings, create jobs, say NIESV, experts

By Victor Gbonegun
11 April 2022   |   2:44 am
Built environment professionals have lauded the Federal Government for signing Executive Order 11 on the maintenance of public buildings.

Built environment professionals have lauded the Federal Government for signing the Executive Order 11 on maintenance of public buildings.

Emmanuel Okas Wike, NIESV President

The Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV) said signing the Executive Order, which would not only address the deplorable state of public buildings, but would also strengthen the development and sustenance of public buildings and infrastructures in the country.

They noted that the policy would revamp the non-existing maintenance culture for public building, improve capacity in assets management and create jobs for professionals and other allied players in the sector.

NIESV President, Sir Emmanuel Wike, said: “Building maintenance, which is an important aspect of building management, is often neglected and NIESV expects that the latest legislation would give a facelift to public buildings across the country.

“With institutionalisation of maintenance culture, buildings would retain its economic life, there would be lower depreciation cost, and consequently, there would be higher productivity and profitability, to the extent that proper maintenance ensures lower expenditures on replacement, thus allowing more expenditure or funds for incursion into new productive ventures and investment.

President Muhammadu Buhari, who signed Executive Order 11 on maintenance of national public buildings last week, directed all Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government (MDAs) to set up maintenance departments, in line with provisions of the new Order.

He said the Order now gives legal backing to the country’s national maintenance policy, following its earlier approval by the Federal Executive Council.

Many of Nigeria’s public buildings, like federal secretariat, Abuja and 24 others spread across the country, including the federal ministry of works building in Lagos, are in deplorable state due to poor maintenance culture.

Originally, the functions of the department of Federal Public Assets Maintenance, under the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, is to oversee the coordination, implementation, management and maintenance of federal public assets, facilities and premises across Nigeria.

Estate surveyors and valuers endorsed this unprecedented approach to maintenance in the country. “We are ready to partner government in the implementation of this well-intentioned policy. Estate surveyors are adequately trained to undertake property and management of all assets in the best global practices.”

The president of International Facility Management Association (IFMA), Mr. Segun Adebayo, described the policy as a step in the right direction that would not only turn around the current state of public facilities, but will also take it to sustainable level.

He said: “Our assets will receive professional attention, managers of those assets in the ministry will be exposed to capacity building in the management of assets. In recent times, we have been advocating effective and sustainable management of our federal assets. We are happy that our assets is receiving impactful attention.”

Adebayo expressed optimism about the implementation, stressing that the leadership of the ministry of works and housing is forward-looking and visionary.

According to him, the economy of Facility Management as a profession is worth over $1.2 trillion, adding that the order will create more jobs for professionals in the industry, artisans, plumbers, electricians as well as cleaners.

A past President of IFMA, Mr. Pius Iwudu, described government’s effort as a good development, that the ministry that spear headed the order assembled professionals from the country with IFMA being part of it.

Iwudu said: “For the built environment professionals, it is a lot of work, as much is expected from them. For the nation and economy, it will create more awareness on maintenance of all public buildings.”

On the implementation, he said: “We need a good leaders in the ministry to ensure that the policy work well and things are done in the right way. Government has started to test-run the policy and I believe that with the right people, they will implement it.”

NIESV immediate past chairman, Lagos branch, Mr. Dotun Bamigbola, said it is an excellent development for the highest office in the land to give critical backing to public building maintenance.

He said the order is an opportunity for the built industry professionals, particularly in the public service, to collaborate and make meaningful contribution to the development and image of the country.