Building Collapse: Expert decries non-adherence to standards



By Chimezie Godfrey

A facility management expert, President, Association of Facilities Management Practitioners, Nigeria (AFMPN), Collins Osayamwen has said non-adherence to standards in construction of buildings led to increasing cases of building collapse across country.

Osayamwen made assertion on Monday in Abuja, at Africa Facilities Management Conference with theme,”Working Together To Accelerate Facilities Management Adoption Across Africa, A Year On.”

He recalled that idea of convening AFM Conference started in 2020 and that this year Nigeria is privileged to host rest of Africa to this conference.

According to him, facility management basically works with people that use facility (I.e when building is completed, Facility Manager ensures that the user of the facility is satisfied, healthy, safe and secured within the facility.

He noted that the construction of the property is the job of the structural engineer to ensure safety of the people that will use the facility at the end of the day, adding that it is not directly the responsibility of the facility manager to ensure that buildings are safe from construction.

He however, stressed that the responsibility of the facility managers is to ensure that the building satisfies the need it was designed to fulfil, adding that every building has a purpose and that what the FM does is to ensure that the building is performing that function or that purpose.

“However, we still have a role to play in ensuring that buildings are conceived and developed to ensuring that the people we are concerned with are safe at the end of the construction of that building and the continuation of the use of the facility at the end of the day.

“The question is, are facility managers recognised for their strategic contribution and their role within the built environment?


How many developers recognise that the facility manager is integral and important in ensuring that buildings are designed and built to satisfy the need of the users of the facility.

“Ordinarily, the Facility Manager knows that whatever is put on the facility during construction will impact on the operations and maintenance and ongoing use of the building and for the life of the facility. So, one of the things we make sure we satisfy is that all safety issues from the design to the eventual completion of that building is paid attention to, we will not allow anything that we know to affect the construction and operation of that building.

“On the collapsed building there are couple of things that could cause building collapse, possibly because people don’t pay attention to Standards. So when you ignore standards that have been established; whether the use of materials or the way construction should be done, you will likely get a collapses building.

“And there are a lot of things that make somebody throw standards to the wind because possibly the people who are suppose to oversee that standards are implemented cut corners; they look the other way because somebody has influenced their decision. Once you ignore standards buildings are bound to callapse so all we need to do is to enforce standards and we’ll have our buildings safe!

“So one of the things that we make sure to satisfy is that all safety issues from the design to the eventual completion of that building is payed attention to,” he said.

The Vice Chairman Africa Facilities Management, Maria Morapedi assured of greater collaboration among countries to develop standards and educate one another on facility management across Africa.

“We are all working together to encourage one another to form association to develop standards and education, and so, we are building on the foundation of the Africa Facility Management. We are thankful to the Association of Facilities Management Practitioners of Nigeria, we also have that of South Africa which is one of the mature countries, others are coming and are also going to be developing associations across the continent.

“We are going to take time, definitely we are going to look to collaborating with one another, is not a one man job,” she said.

Sherif Khaled, the Senior Director, Soft Services Operations, Office of Facilities and Operations, Egypt, expressed delight for the historic occasion of launching the association in Africa.

Khaled stressed that the aim is to having facility management across Africa and helping the whole associations in Africa and new generations of FM in countries in Africa to be trained and equiped with knowledge, education and everything that it takes to deliver.

He admitted that facility management in Egypt is still developing, adding that they are learning from Nigeria to become a good association.

“Am very delighted to be here with our Nigerian practitioners in Facility Management (FM) and this is a very historic moment for us all in Africa to launch this association, is about having facility management across Africa and helping the whole associations in Africa existing and working as it should be, and helping our new generations of FM in countries in Africa to be trained and equiped with knowledge, education and everything that it takes to deliver.

“Our facility management in Egypt is still a baby, is was launched a couple of years ago, we are learning from our Nigerian friends how to become a good Association, how to help our facilities managers, how to grow, but in terms of facilities in Egypt is now developing, is now getting in a better space and place, our friends here in Nigeria are helping us on how to be informed in the right direction,” he said.