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The future of Facilities Management in Nigeria

For all service providers, especially facilities management operators whose services are fundamental and critical for the survival of real estate assets, good times are here as the real estate sector of the economy is in for growth with increased investment from local and foreign investors.

Projections and expectations by market watchers are that growth will rise as high as 10 percent annually while Price waterhouse coopers (PWC) in its recent report estimated that investment would rise to $13.65 billion by 2016 from the current $9.16billion.

The sector parades fascinating and intimidating statistics given National Bureau of Statistics report which says that the value of the real estate market which was only N1.4 trillion in 2011  rose to N6.5 trillion in 2014, in just three years.

Additionally, the sector’s contribution to gross domestic product (GDP) has gone up from 7.7 percent in 2012 to 11 percent in 2014, and all these have been made possible by growing population, rising urbanization, emerging and growing middle class, increased spending power, etc.

It is in the light of all these that operators in the FM industry are being called upon to position themselves to take full advantage of the anticipated growth and,  in the opinion of Femi Akintunde—the MD/CEO of Alpha Mead Facilities Management and Services Limited—this positioning consists mainly in building resilience for the future.

Akintunde who spoke at the 4th edition of the Nigerian FM Roundtable hosted by his company in Lagos recently as part of activities marking the World FM Day, explained that building resilience for the future involved building capacity and scaling up operations to meet new demands.

In furtherance of his advocacy for global best practice, Akintunde advised that facilities management industry shoukd contribute meaningfully to the economy and, to leverage the growth that was coming, practitioners must embrace global standards and best practices in the execution of projects.

“In the last four years, AMFacilities has sponsored this event as one of the ways we are exploring to raise awareness, set agenda, and promote global standards in the industry. We understand that the dynamics of the market are changing and we want to position facilities management to play critically in that mix”, he said. Olasupo Shasore, former Lagos State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, in his keynote address at  the event, noted that the facilities management industry was one of the few industries that was certain for growth in the foreseeable future.

Shasore, who was represented by the Managing Director of Cluttons Nigeria, Erejuwa Gbadebo, stated that “for sheer obvious reason that we have such a huge housing and infrastructure deficit to fill, I am sure many of you know that in the World Economic Forum, Global Competitiveness Report 2014-15, Nigeria is ranked at 134 in infrastructure out of 144 economies”.

He lamented the current deficit in Nigeria’s infrastructure, saying; “the country’s core infrastructure stock is estimated at only 35-40  percent of GDP, in contrast to international benchmarks of 70 percent of GDP”, noting that  this low value has been driven by historically low public and private spending on infrastructure. The highpoint of the event was the introduction of the British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM), Nigeria Chapter which, according to Akintunde, was a welcome development to deepen the advocacy for best practices in the industry and encourage knowledge-sharing amongst professionals. The event drew participants from five major sectors of the economy including oil and gas, telecommunications, real estate, government and public services and financial services.

Source: BusinessDay – CHUKA UROKO

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