The Executive Secretary of the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA), Mr Shehu Ahmad, has advocated the formulation of the national infrastructure maintenance policy to safeguard the entire public infrastructure in the country.
Ahmad spoke in Abuja at the 1st International Facilities Engineering and Management Conference and Exhibition and Annual General Meeting organised by the Nigerian Institution of Facilities Engineering and Management, on Monday.
He also called for the development of human resources that would implement the policy.
Ahmad, who was represented by Mr Oluwadarasimi Emmanuel, also underscored the importance of infrastructure in the development of a nation.
He stressed that huge infrastructure would stimulate the economic growth of the country.
“Now, infrastructure cannot be removed from development. Those countries we classified as developed countries all over the world have huge infrastructure that helps to stimulate their economic growth and create jobs.
“So, if things move as fast as they can, infrastructure is key.
“Now looking at effective national maintenance policy, you know that it is also very relevant that as facility engineering and management, we need to develop or if we need to continue to improve on the possibility of policy.
“Although the problem in Nigeria is not about policies, the problem is actually implementing those policies or living by them. But more importantly, we need to have a policy on maintenance and facility management they are key,” he said.
Also, the President of the Institute of Global Facilities Management, Mr Omachi Jonah, who corroborated Ahmad’s position, called for a national maintenance policy that would address the current infrastructure decay in the country.
Jonah, who also noted that the policy document should be well detailed, said all the stakeholders should be carried along in its draft to ensure its proper implementation.
The President of the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), Prof. Abubakar Sadiq, in his keynote address tasked professionals on maintaining the standards.
Sadiq called on the members of the Nigerian Institution of Facilities Engineering and Management to contribute to the economic growth of the country by ensuring that all public facilities are well managed.
Represented by Mr Peter Awunde, the COREN President expressed concern that most of the estate developers in Abuja did not have knowledge about facilities management.
He called on the members of the association to bring their expertise to bear in taking charge despite their deficiency.
In his address of welcome, the National Chairman of the association, Mr Oladipupo Mabogaje, called on the government to factor management in while designing public infrastructure.
He said that the maintenance of critical national infrastructure and facilities should be a key to governance.
According to him, government spends huge resources to provide these infrastructure but they do not do so much in maintaining them.
“Whenever government provides the infrastructure, they should think of the people to manage it, that is why we have Nigerian Institution of Facilities Engineering and Management a division of Nigerian Society of Engineers.
“We do not have to look for expatriates to maintain our facilities, we have electrical, mechanical and civil and the engineering and built environment we have a lot of sector that an engineer has to carter for like oil and gas.
“An engineer that has bias for a particular kind of facility can develop himself to be able to handle that facilitate like a chemical engineer in the oil and gas sector.
“We have organised training for all these discipline so that engineers can fit into and help to protect national infrastructure and promote economic development,” he said.
By Perpetua Onuegbu