Eager to protect the nation’s wealth and build resilience for the future, experts have advocated a fresh policy, and where necessary, legislation for the maintenance of public buildings and private estates in the country.
Nigeria requires about $3.05 trillion (N485 trillion) to provide quality infrastructure over the next 30 years, with an estimated cost of N166, billion required for phase 1. With Nigeria’s performance on the provision of funding for infrastructure standing at less than 25 per cent, the growth potential is clear for all to see.
Maintenance costs will also grow significantly, as infrastructure stock increases. According to global benchmarks, maintenance spend should amount to approximately 2 per cent of GDP, which translates into a total of about $23 billion per annum.
The former Lagos State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Supo Shasore in a keynote address at the 4th edition of the Nigerian Facilities Management Roundtable, sponsored by Alpha Mead in commemoration of the World Facilities Management Day, said, private sector service providers are best suited for the maintenance and management of the public buildings and infrastructure.
Shasore, President Lagos Court of Arbitration, who was represented by the Managing Director of Cluttons Nigeria, Erejuwa Gbadebo noted that the absence of public sector spending and management have been the greatest leakage in the economy after corruption. “Our common wealth is in our effective management of our public spending on facilities.
“There are obvious synergies with facilities management, as our needs continue to agitate our resources, for greater attention to maintenance, management and sustainable practices will continue to be the order of the day.”
The former Attorney General also lamented the current deficit in Nigeria’s infrastructure, saying; “the country’s core infrastructure stock is estimated at only 35-40 per cent of GDP, in contrast to international benchmarks of 70 per cent of GDP. This low value has been driven by historically low public and private spending on infrastructure.” The Managing Director, Alpha Mead Facilities & Management Services Limited, AMFacilities, Mr. Femi Akintunde, an engineer, charged Facilities Managers in the country to position themselves as key drivers of the real estate sector.
Speaking during his welcome address at the event, Akintunde who quoted a recent report by Price Water Coopers (PWC), that Real Estate investment value is expected to increase from $9.16billion to $13.65 billion next year, said the Facilities Management Industry must brace up to support and sustain the anticipated growth. He commented: “going by this revelation however, for Nigeria to meet its vision 2020, a lot still needs to be done in the areas of improved public infrastructure to drive the required positive change in the Real Estate and Facilities Management industry, and the general living condition of the average Nigerian”.
He added that for the Facilities Management and Real Estate sectors to contribute meaningfully to the Nigerian economy; practitioners must embrace Global Standards and best practices in the execution of projects.
“In the last four years, AM Facilities has sponsored this event as one of the ways we are exploring to raise awareness, set agenda, and promote global standards in the industry. We understand that the dynamics of the market are changing and we want to position Facilities Management to play critically in that mix”, he explained.
Speaking at a panel on behalf the financial sector, Gabriel Igbeke, Head of Admin, NSE said facilities managers lacked the financial capabilities to execute projects and therefore depend on the sector for finance which creates ineffectiveness because opening a financial book for such is tough. The panelists stressed the need for the setting up of a regulatory body to oversee the operation of professionals in the sector.
While the Telecoms, Government and the academic sectors acknowledged the importance of engaging the services of professional facilities managers, they advocated the need for training and retraining of FM managers to enhance their capacity to function efficiently.