By Festus OSEJI

The 3rd edition of the annual facility management forum held on June 30, 2022 at the prestigious Lagoon Restaurant, Victoria Island, Lagos. The event which was marked with conference, and award of recognition was attended by top industry players and stakeholders in Facility Management.

Natafamdavid Consulting in conjunction with CED Magazine hosted the event. Welcoming guests to the occasion, Mr. Kenneth Odusola-Stevenson, the Managing Director, said the event came at a most auspicious time, when the President of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, had recently signed Executive Order 11 to encourage maintenance of public buildings in the country.

In his words, “…the 2022 International FM day with the theme ‘Sustainable Future’ is timely and reflective of current sustainable development goals. Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, this year signed Executive Order 11, mandating the maintenance of public buildings. This is geared towards building a sustainability and capacity within the FM sector”.

Notwithstanding the latest initiative, the Managing Director said there are challenges ahead. According to him,
most public buildings in Nigeria are 30 years old or older, and will require increased maintenance. Along with the ever growing stock of buildings, there will be increased demand for FM services in the years to come. “Apart from building infrastructure, we need to step up our greenery and landscaping, lifts and escalators, as well as facade infrastructure”, he said.

He noted that Facility Management in Nigeria is manpower-intensive and currently reliant on new entrants and few ageing ones. Embracing innovation and technology therefore will allow the sector to grow and the workforce to become more productive and ready to undertake higher value-added work, and provide better income and career progression.

He encouraged the industry players to take advantage of many external drivers and technological developments on the horizon, ranging from digitalisation to use of robotics in service delivery. Research and innovation in sustainable FM will be key to staying future-ready, he said.

Chairman of the occasion and President, International Facility Management Association (IFMA), Nigeria Chapter, Mr. Segun Adebayo, was on hand to declare open the event. He expressed appreciation for the organizers whom he said had been consistent since its inaugural edition in 2019. He disclosed that the past editions brought new insights and education to facility managers in Nigeria.

Earlier, Mr. Odusola-Stevenson applauded IFMA International, Nigeria Chapter, for being a champion of industry transformation, and proactively developing the needed capacity to stay future-ready. He appealed to the government to put the necessary framework for full implementation of Executive Order 11. The initiative, if properly implemented, will transform the industry for good, he added.

Technologies such as AI and machine learning may once have sounded futuristic but thanks to efforts in research and innovation, companies are now able to use them to reap cost savings and improve service delivery.

It is up to IFMA International, Nigeria Chapter, to transform the FM sector and make it attractive for Nigerians, especially young professionals, to come on board. More than ever, greater collaboration between the government and the industry will go a long way.

Among award winners on the day were Provast Integrated Facilities Management, Besttouch Facilities and Services Limited, Global Property and Facilities International Limited, Total Facilities Management Limited, and Banksome Facility Management.

The Chief Operation Officer of Natafamdavid Consulting Nigeria Limited, Dr. Mrs. Orie Vann, while appreciating the awardees and sponsors of this year’s event, promised to make next edition bigger and better.

She said : “we look forward to sustained partnership with IFMA and the industry players towards a productive, sustainable, and innovative FM sector…”

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