By Monday Ijeh
The Federal Government has concluded plans to subject public buildings across the country to a mandatory maintenance check, Vice President Yemi Osinbanjo has said.
Osinbanjo stated this on Wednesday at the closing ceremony of the Construction Artisans Awards and Job Skills Expo in Abuja.
The vice president, represented by the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, said the first phase of the mandatory maintenance programme would cover only public buildings.
“On Jan. 9, the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing presented a memorandum to the Federal Executive Council for the approval of a national infrastructure maintenance framework starting first with buildings.
“We will be going later to roads, rails and power installations, but we are starting with public buildings.
“Essentially, what the ministry sought to do is to urge council to approve the maintenance framework, so that every public building owned by the Federal Government will be subjected to a mandatory maintenance programme,” he said.
He said before reaching a decision on the introduction of the maintenance framework, the ministry sampled nine buildings.
He said these included a federal court, a federal college, a federal hospital, federal prison, a federal secretariat and four other buildings belonging to the ministry.
“From the time you start the site assessment, you start to employ people because site assessment requires data, measurement and so on.
“In one building for example, we found out that there were 68 Air-conditioning equipment installed; and 11 needed replacements.
“In the other building, we found that out of 30 toilets, about 12 were not functional, so for those who are in the plumbing sector, there is business for you,” he said.
Osinbanjo said that when the nine buildings were evaluated, it was discovered that about N600 million would be required annually for maintenance.
He said this was because the signing into law of the Disability Bill by the President had guaranteed the protection of people living with disability.
According to him, the law imposes a condition that within five years all buildings must comply with the regulations; make them friendly and usable by people living with disability.
“What I see is that we have to start installing proper lifts, crating rams, altering our structures and facilities to make them usable by people living with disability.
“Builders and other artisans have a big role to play in this regard and I encourage you to brace up for the opportunities,” Osinbajo added. (NAN)