Maintenance Policy will Drive SMEs- FG
The Honourable Minister of Power Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN has made public the approval of a National Public Buildings Maintenance Policy for the country, by the Federal Government of Nigeria. This was made known at a Press Briefing held in the Ministry’s office Headquarters in Abuja.
Mr. Fashola said the approval of the Maintenance Policy marks an end to the era of agonizing on maintenance in the country. He highlighted the fact that no other governments before now deemed it fit to approve such a policy but the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Administration has acted in the right direction.
He said “if there is anything I have participated in as the Federal Minister over the past three years that I’m particularly proud of, it is this Maintenance Policy”. Maintenance, he emphasized is not a cultural issue but an economic issue, an issue viable for economic prosperity.
The Minister disclosed that the Memorandum presented to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) revealed that only about 23% of employment in the built industry, involves design, governance and construction, while maintenance carries the lion share.
This policy, in the big picture, would culminate into incremental employment opportunities within the country and eventual output in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), hence growth for Nigeria’s Small and Medium Enterprise (SMEs) and the economy as a whole, he explained.
Fashola called on all relevant stakeholders including the office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, the National Assembly, Bureau for Public Procurement, National Orientation Agency and other stakeholders to come together in a common purpose to achieve the desired goal.
Speaking earlier, the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita, who was represented by the Director, General Services Office (GSO/ OHCSF) Mrs. Toyin Alade, expressed delight that the Policy will open a new vista in the overall maintenance of public assets and facilities in the country.
The Chairman, House Committee on Housing, Hon. Mahmud Mohammed expressed happiness over the approved Policy, stressing that this would reduce wastage and increase labour and productivity.
Also, Deputy Chairman, House Committee on Works, Hon. Dr. Abubakar Kannike opined that if maintenance was being institutionalized, the government will in turn save cost. He admonished Nigerians to adopt in the maintenance culture over their private properties as well.
Mrs Adenike Adekanbi, the Consultant charged with drafting of the Memorandum, reiterated that as it were, the future of public infrastructure depended wholly on the survival of the Policy recently approved by the government.
While presenting an overview of the Policy Framework, she revealed that a pilot study conducted using different public infrastructure to generate data from site analysis and condition assessments to determine the current status of the buildings, revealed the enormous untapped employment potentials available.
Mrs. Adekanbi said if such analysis were conducted on all public buildings, there was bound to be a proliferation of employments for artisans, welders, plumbers, electricians and so on.
The Consultant added that the policy trust asserts all public buildings to be maintained in a manner to preserve their values and ensure that they serve the purpose for which they were built.
Mrs. Renate M. Michael
For: Director Information