As professionals in the Nigerian built environment converged in Lagos to mark this year’s ‘World Facility Management Day’, facility managers and other stakeholders have called for synergy among players in the sector towards achieving an excellent built environment.
As professionals in the built environment continue to change the narratives towards sustainable progress in strategic collaboration with public institutions for a better operating environment for facility management (FM) in Nigeria; stakeholders are of the view that better synergy among players in the sector will deepen FM. The event which took place at the University of Lagos had the theme- “Celebrating FM: Standing tall beyond the Pandemic” drew participants from academic, political and social Nigeria.
Addressing stakeholders nationwide, at the celebration, the President of the International Facility Management Association, Nigerian Chapter, Mr. Segun Adebayo said the event in line with the global practice seeks to recognize and celebrate the vital work that facility managers across the world have contributed to different industries during the pandemic and even now that we are gradually winning the war against COVID-19.
He states further that IFMA will continue to map out critical paths towards a better operating environment, as members are determined to achieve a sustainable and forward-thinking industry through capacity building, knowledge development and research.
According to him “For us in IFMA, Nigeria Chapter, we are celebrating the day with a strong sense of commitment towards improved health and safety in the built environment, effective activation of business continuity and emergency preparedness. While we will continue to map out our critical path towards a better operating environment, we are also determined to achieve a sustainable and forward-thinking industry through capacity building, knowledge development, research and development.”
The President noted that between the last celebration and now, the body has been able to deepen its advocacy commitment through its knowledge-sharing session series.
“In line with our renewed purpose as a pioneer and foremost professional Association in Facility Management with global affiliation and in commemoration of 2021 World FM day, we shall be formally commencing our Mentorship Development Initiative (MDI) with twenty-four mentees from different background today.”
“In line with IFMA renewed purpose as a pioneer and foremost professional association in Facility Management with global affiliation, Adebayo posits that, “We will also be collaborating with one of the Lagos State Public Institution on a program tagged “A Day with Artisans ‘scheduled to hold by the early part of 3rd quarter. This and many more we shall explore for a better-built environment,” he stated.
Shina Atilola, the head of retail and consumer banking at Sterling Bank and Keynote Speaker, said digitization and COVID-19 fast-tracked the need for players in the built environment to capitalize on the emerging environment.
According to him, the pandemic provided an opportunity to change the narrative, hence FM professionals must be proactive. In order words, he states that FM professionals must leverage robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) for better outcomes.
In his speech, the special guest of honour, Architect David Lola Majekodunmi, Chairman, Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA), Lagos chapter, advised Facility Management practitioners to create a trust fund and invest more in research towards encouraging young Nigerians to be a part of Facility Management. He also urged all professionals within the built environment to collaborate effectively with facility managers and get them involved from the predesign stage of Construction.
Arch. Majekodunmi said local content should be embraced by players in Facility Management and the built environment in Nigeria. He equally called for collaboration with other professional associations in the built environment.
In his words, “we are trying to make good rules for Lagos State, in terms of physical planning and urban development, we succeeded in changing or reviewing the law, in 2010. However, there was a new physical planning law, but as I stand here today I can say there are over 5000 laws in Lagos State and Zero enforcement.
The Chairman also expressed disappointment about the National Building code which has been drafted thirty-six years ago but has not been approved to date.
During the panel session, Nike Adekanbi, the General Manager, Lagos State Infrastructural Asset Management Agency (LASIAMA), noted that FM professionals and others were frontline workers during the pandemic. According to her, proper maintenance sustains the life span of facilities.
As said by Professor Modupe Omirin, Head of Department, Estate Management, University of Lagos, there is every need for facility mangagers to be seriously proactive to ensure facilities are properly adaptable.
Engineer Felix Elerunndu, the Chief Engineer, Park Inn by Radisson while sharing his experience from the hospitality perspective of the impact of COVID-19 on the economy of facility management, said players in the sector had to look inward to stay afloat during the pandemic.
The event was rounded off with the selection of Mentees from Lagos State Technical Schools, 500 level Estate Management students and Masters in Facility Management students from University of Lagos, and artisans. It is expected that these mentees will be trained and have a first-hand understanding of facility management from their mentors who have excelled professionally.