Expert laments incessant building collapse

Managing Director, Jecmeralds Engineering Ltd, Engr. Chidiebele Uzoagba has urged the government, individuals, and Engineers to imbibe the culture of good maintenance, to curb the menace of building collapse.

He stated this while speaking on the topic: “Poor Maintenance Culture in Nigeria, Role of Facility Management” at a meeting of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Victoria Island Branch, Lagos.

Uzoagba lamented that many infrastructural amenities in Nigeria, such as schools, hospitals, offices, and monuments, are in bad shape due to negligence.

He identified lack of funds, indiscipline and ignorance, bad economy, corruption, absence of the owner, and remoteness of the building as the reasons for poor maintenance culture.

Uzoagba also highlighted causes of maintenance problems as faulty design and construction, bad workmanship, and use of sub-standard materials.

“It’s inexplicably true that in Nigeria today, peoples’ commitment to maintenance is poor,” he said and emphasised the role of facility maintenance as a driver to encourage a good maintenance culture in the country.

“We have seen this in the private sector, and even in private residences, where it’s deployed, and how it has helped the life circle of those buildings.

“By the way, facility management is a multi-disciplinary profession that involves every sector of engineering and integrating people’s process and technology to deliver a good environment where we live and play,” he said.

Across the country, according to him, there are building facilities that are poorly maintained due to poor culture, or bad attitudes.

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“It would interest you to know that on February 19, 2019, the Federal Executive Council approved Building Maintenance Policy plan work, which has not been communicated to us till now, The Trumpet gathered.

“Not many Nigerians are aware of the policy and it is as if something has not been developed because if a policy is not communicated, or implemented of what use is that policy?

“So, if we have a policy, it must be communicated to the people. I believe this would transform the psyche of the people towards maintenance because policy should be able to transform, direct, or structure issues around that thing.

“Whether we are looking at maintenance culture on building, airway, road, oil & gas or in any sector of the economy, we must communicate it in a manner that helps to transform the psyche of the people and that could be through education, either formal or informal,” he added.

He stressed that the formal education approach should be such that facility maintenance will be made part of the nation’s curriculum in the universities. He noted that currently, no university in Nigeria offers facility management as a first degree except at the master’s degree level.

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