The Executive Secretary of the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA), Mr Shehu Ahmad, has advocated formulating 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, represented by Mr Oluwadarasimi Emmanuel, underscored the importance of infrastructure in developing a nation.
He stressed that a huge infrastructure would stimulate the country’s economic growth.
“Now, infrastructure cannot be removed from development. Those countries we classified as developed countries worldwide have huge infrastructure that helps 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 to address the country’s current infrastructure decay.
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 Nigerian Institution of Facilities Engineering and Management members to contribute to the country’s economic growth 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 association members to bring their expertise to bear in taking charge despite their deficiencies.
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, the government spends huge resources to provide these infrastructures but does not do much to maintain them.
“Whenever the government provides the infrastructure, they should think of the people to manage it; that is why we have the Nigerian Institution of Facilities Engineering and Management, a division of the 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 sectors that an engineer has to carter for, like oil and gas.
“An engineer with a bias for a particular kind of facility can develop himself to handle that facility like a chemical engineer in the oil and gas sector.
“We have organised training for all these disciplines so that engineers can fit into and help to protect national infrastructure and promote economic development,” he said. (NAN)