Jide Oke, a former Chairman of Lagos Chapter of Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS), on Tuesday said that poor maintenance culture was the bane of infrastructure development in Nigeria.
Oke, who made the observation in an interview said lack of maintenance culture had been a challenge since the nation got independence.
He expressed regret that many private and public institutions were not spending the necessary resources to maintain their facilities.
Oke said the country had built many essential projects, but lacked the ability to monitor, maintain and sustain them.
According to him, it is not enough to secure or embark on projects without making adequate provisions for how the project can be maintained to sustain its existence or functions.
“Generally, we believe in new projects, which is good, but what matters is their sustenance.
“The country has performed well by getting new projects, but it fails in their sustenance.
“The deteriorating nature of public facilities such as street lights erected some years back by the past and present governments that would have served as means of beautification and illumination in our society should be a major concern.
“But due to lack of maintenance culture in terms of bulbs replacement or fixing minor faults has turned our roads to death traps and hubs of illicit games such as arm robbery stations,” he said.
According to him, the nonchalance of Nigerians on maintenance has negatively affected infrastructure development which is critical and essential to a nation’s development.
Oke identified poor leadership, corruption, attitudinal problem and lack of maintenance policy as major causes of the infrastructure decay.
“Poor maintenance culture has drawn the nation a thousand steps backward and one of the stride actions that could salvage the country from the total mess of infrastructure decay is maintenance.
“Achieving Vision 2020 goals will be attainable if existing structures and facilities are constantly maintained,” he said.
Oke said that maintenance and renovation of existing infrastructure and buildings should be paramount to the governments in enhancing national development.
He suggested the inclusion of maintenance culture in national education curriculum, maintenance policy formulation and appointment of facility managers, among others, as necessary steps to addressing the nation’s infrastructure decay.