By Gift Olivia Samuel, The Sight News
The Federal Government has been called upon to harness the untapped potentials available in the Facility Management sector, to help boost the countries Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Making the call in Abuja, a Facility Management Practitioner, Collins Osayamwen, stated that, with the huge investment by the federal government into infrastructure and construction of public spaces such as airports, railway stations, stadia and others, there is an urgent need for Facility Managers to properly manage and ensure safety of these structures.
Osayamwen who said these on Tuesday at his golden jubilee birthday celebration, which doubled as the Official Lauch of ‘The Heritage Foundation’,noted that the Facilities and Workplace Management profession is gradually gaining recognition and growing into a sizeable and influential industry sector, contributing positively to the GDP growth of the Nigerian Economy.
According to him, “The publication of an international standard for Facilities Management by the International Standards Organization ISO4100 series and the recent passage of the Council Facilities Management Bill(SB 340) by the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria attest to this”.
Expantiating on the roles of Facility Managers, he said that, “Facility Management basically is to ensure the well being of the people that use facilities and also enhance the productivity of the core business within the facility, for a facility to operate to meet the desired objective, it has to be managed by professionals.
“Facility Managers develop, recommend and implement strategic plans and programs to improve efficiency, high performance to ensure that facilities meets government regulations and environmental health and safety standards”.
Osayamwen however lamented that lack of recognition of the profession has been the major challenge facing it, stressing that there is need for Facility Management to be taught in schools from Degree up to Ph.D levels.
“Lack of recognition has been the biggest challenge that has faced Facility Management. For people to understand it,we have worked towards establishing a law to back Facility Management as a profession, I believe that the bill on ground is a game changer.
“There is no University that offers Facility Management at first degree level, in fact, Universities don’t even know they need to begin to educate people on the need to manage facilities. Facility Management as a profession, has to be created with curriculums and create a career.
“We know that the only time Facility Management can go beyond where it is now, there has to be a deliberate decision from institutions to be able to take the profession as a course. Facility Management is a profession, and I believe that the earlier we recognise the untapped resources, it is capable of employing millions of unemployed youths in this country if only we understand the role of facility management in governance” he added.
Speaking on the importance of the ‘The Heritage Foundation’, which is aimed at supporting facilities and Workplace Management Practice in Emerging Economies, he added that the Foundation will focus on core areas such as scholarships, research, grants, advocacy and awareness.
In his keynote address, the Chairman, Nigeria Facility Managers Initiative, Pastor Stephen Jagun, noted that Facility Management which is a profession encompassing so many professionals, is gaining ground in Nigeria, noting however that it is propelled by lack of infrastructure and failure of services.
While commending Mr Osayamwen for the initiative of starting up the Foundation, he stated that Facility Management is a lucrative business, adding also that the future is very bright, as the Facility Management is a trillion dollar industry on its own.
Also speaking, a Facility Manager, Mr, Justin Okpo, reiterated that the future is bright for Nigeria in Facility Management, adding also that there is need to encourage Facility Management, to ensure sustainable of the infrastructure spread across Nigeria.