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Surveyors harp on facility management, specialisation

By Bertram Nwannekanma and Victor Gbonegun
12 February 2018   |   4:23 am
To improve the nation’s economy, estate surveyors have stressed the need to ensure that viable stock of infrastructure is constantly functional and sustainable.

Keynote Speaker, Past President, Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV), Mr. Dosu Fatokun (left); Past Chairman, NIESV Interim National Council, , Gersh Henshaw; NIESV President, Dr. Bolarinde Patunola-Ajayi and fellow of the Nigeria Institution of Estate Surveyor and Valuers, Mrs. Olayinka Patunola-Ajayi at the NIESV 24th John Wood Ekpenyong Memorial Lecture in Lagos PHOTO: AYODELE ADENIRAN

To improve the nation’s economy, estate surveyors have stressed the need to ensure that viable stock of infrastructure is constantly functional and sustainable.

According to them, this could only be sustained through appreciation and enthronement of facility management profession in the national lives.

They called for the establishing of a positive correlation between the infrastructure and economic development.

According to them, the more robust and qualitative infrastructure, the better; the depth of such nation’s economic development.

Setting the tune on the theme: “Facility Management and Economic Development in Nigeria’, at the 24th John Wood Ekpenyong memorial lecture held in Lagos by the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Values (NIESV), a past president of the institution, Mr. Dosu Fatokun, said infrastructure as a catalyst for development needs to be well managed to drive development.

Expressing dismay over Nigeria’s low ranking in human development index and public infrastructure gap as contained in some comparative critical macro economic and social indicators, Fatokun said, all hands should be on deck in terms of feasible ideas to develop her infrastructure with a view to promoting the desired economic development of the nation.

Although, it is said that Nigeria has exited recession the reality, the facility management expert said, is that people are still suffering, hence the urgent need to galvanise the economy through facility management.

He said: “Based on our experience on real estate infrastructure, we will propose that appropriate facility management functions should be gainfully employed for other types of infrastructure within the country”.

He also called on Association of Professional Bodies of Nigeria (APBN) to lobby the federal government to declare and dedicate a month in the year for infrastructure condition certification.

During this month, he said, appropriate professional bodies should be constituted into sub-groups to undertake technical visitations to representative of key infrastructure facilities in the country and issue yearly beneficial reports to government particularly on the operation and maintenance cycle stage of the respective infrastructure.

According to him, the report will complement the oversight function of the National Assembly and could provide useful and desired inputs for yearly capital expenditure budget of the nation.

Expounding further on the theme, NIESV president, Dr. Bolarinde Patunola-Ajayi said the topic was chosen because facility management will enhance, improve and sustain economic development.

According to him, since infrastructure is key for any economic development, there is the need to ensure that existing infrastructure is maintained and kept in good use.

Dr Patunola-Ajayi stressed that the lecture was instituted 24 years ago to appreciate the contributions of the founding fathers to the profession, especially using the first president, Ekpenyong as symbol.

The late Ekpenyong, who schooled at the prestigious Methodist College Uzuakoli and University of London have put the structure that had made estate surveying practice popular all over the world.

In related development, the institution urged members to focus more on specialisation rather than the general practice.

According to the body, such diversification would promote human capacity development, boost distinction in practice, improve member’s contributions to the profession and the society in general.

Dr. Patunola-Ajayi, spoke at the 2018 Fellows’ Induction and Awards held in Lagos.

He urged the 46 new inductees and honourary members to take the lead in laying the foundation for specialisation.

Stressing that human capacity is paramount in the delivery of services, the NIESV president advised them to shun act that could constitute precarious liability in the course of practice.

He said that the induction forms the highest grade of admission of membership into NIESV stressing that before they were considered, members must have been associate for 10-years.

Those honoured at the ceremony for their infrastructural strides and contributions to NIESV include; the special guest of honour; Alhaji Femi Okunnu, chief of staff to Governor of Imo State; Uche Nwosu, Air Vice Marshal Moses Akinsanmi, Governor of Gombe state and institutions such as Julius Berger PLC, National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), Dangote Group among others.