The growing sophistication of end users and the complexity of modern infrastructure have raised demand for FM, which is new and struggling for growth and global best practices in Nigeria, writes Tunde Obileye.
22 October 2015
The growing sophistication of end users and the complexity of modern infrastructure have raised demand for FM, which is new and struggling for growth and global best practices in Nigeria.
FM has to do with people, process and environment. It integrates all these to make a built environment enjoy the benefits of longevity and value appreciation. Every building is designed for a particular purpose and this determines the kind of maintenance such a building enjoys. Take a hotel, for instance. People go there to stay or to perform some function. It must have comfort so that anyone who comes there enjoys the facilities. You can't afford to say there is no electricity, the AC isn't working, or the toilets have no water.
To achieve strong growth and best practice, we need a formally established professional body to regulate the activities of FMs, such as that in the legal profession, where the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) regulates law practice. The accountants, engineers, doctors and many other professions also have bodies that regulate them, but in FM there is none.
Legislation and regulation would make it mandatory for existing and would-be FM practitioners to acquire the necessary training and skills. A good number of people still don't have the skills set to practice in this industry. This is why when you call an 'expert' to fix a plumbing fault, he tells you he can do it, but ends up creating more problems for you. Only a few academic institutions offer courses in FM. The growth of the industry needs collective effort from government and the private sector. It's time to start defining the criteria for anyone who wants a career in FM.
This is an area where the BIFM will be extremely useful.
Tunde Obileye is MD/CEO at Great Heights Property & Facilities Management, Nigeria