Worried that in about 20 years of the facilities management (FM) industry in Nigeria they have no platform through which they can forge a common front, professionals in this industry are perfecting plans to launch a national body of the practitioners in the foreseeable future.
In all these years, the practitioners have been operating either as individuals or fragmented groups which have denied them the needed visibility as an industry so indexed in real estate sector that hardly could the sector’s contribution to GDP be complete without recognizing their input.
The professionals in a statement in Lagos at the weekend revealed that the decision to come up with a national association was reached at two separate meetings in Lagos and Abuja, stressing that a National Steering Committee formed at the meetings have been mandated to ensure this goal is achieved ahead of the World FM Day in May this year.
“The setting up of national association is aimed to bring together all facilities managers for the development of the industry which has been in existence for almost 20 years without visible progress. The body is going to be a professional association and not a regulatory body because, in Nigeria, government, through acts of parliament, sets up regulatory bodies”, said the statement which was signed by MKO Balogun, chairman, media, events and communications.
Balogun disclosed that the professionals have aligned operations and association with the US and British FM bodies—International Facilities Management Association (IFMA) and British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM) both of which, he noted, were more inclined towards general FM education and learning.
“The two bodies are also focused more on their local environment development than development of FM in international environments, leading to the establishment of associations like South Africa Facilities Management Association (SAFMA) and Middle Estate Facilities Management Association (MEFMA)”,he said.
When formed, the national body will be promoting and continuously developing the FM industry and also providing platform to drive the contribution of the industry to national development by leveraging international partnerships, standards and best practices to develop relevant local standards.
The objective of the association will be to represent the interest of all professional facility managers and companies practicing in the industry; be the voice of the Nigerian FM industry through advocacy, and influence government policies related to infrastructure design, development and management.
It will also work with the Nigerian FM industry regulatory body (when created) to ensure practitioners, companies and developers adhere to standards; support professional development of members of all cadres, and work with universities in Nigeria to promote the development, learning and research on FM.
The new body will also conduct surveys and research projects for reliable industry data and become the source and validator for all industry data and information, organize conferences and seminars to promote knowledge and development in the industry, and reward excellence in the industry through awards and recognition.