Analysis Of Maintenance Culture Employed In Public Infrastructure In Nigeria
1.1 Background to the Study
Over the years, there has been increasing abandonment of building projects and infrastructural facilities which has led to the dilapidation, degradation and deterioration of these building structures within the Nigerian contemporary urban metropolis.
Recently there has been a lot of research investigations and analysis of which points unshakeable to the fact that certain features such as client’s perception, cost of maintenance works, unskilled maintenance technicians, inflation rates, effect of taxation on building owners, Government policies, inability to prepare and follow maintenance schedules are direct causes of neglect which leads to dilapidations and deterioration of building structures (onibokun 1997). There are also the remote causes of lack maintenance such as force majeur, cultural problems, state of the economy, the receding global economic meltdown, lack of time and general illiteracy of the occupants of the building or structure and users of the facilities.
However there has also been growth in the significance of building maintenance as a proportion of the output of the construction industry which takes place against a backdrop of mounting pressure on new build activity and a growing awareness of the need to manage the condition of the nation’s building and infrastructure more effectively (chanter 2007).
Though, it is still the case that such maintenance activity takes place in a context that does not create a fully integrated approach to managing building performance and thus the full potential of many buildings and infrastructures are never wholly realized.
Basically in virtually all the towns and city centers within the Nigerian, buildings and infrastructural facilities are gradually and systematically decaying, dilapidating and deteriorating with reduced or no degree of maintenance programme and activity.
From a normal visual perception in the urban metropolis, it can be noted that majority of the
- Constructed buildings both private and public
- Road network
- Water supply systems
- Sanitary and drainage systems
- Transmission poles and electricity lines
- Government owned telephone networks
- Telegraph and postal systems
- Sign post and route l0ocation posts are deteriorated and badly in need of maintenance.
The lack of maintenance of these buildings and infrastructures negatively affects the populace which thus affects the output of the working class, capacity of the populace is thus lost, time value for achievement of goals and objectives minimized , it also causes all forms of ill-health and psychological effects thereby reducing the economic growth of the nation.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
All three spheres of government, together with the state owned enterprise (SOEs), manage major portfolios of immovable infrastructural assets. While there is much emphasis on delivery of infrastructure, delivery does not in fact end with the commissioning of the infrastructural asset. Once the infrastructure has been commissioned, various activities must be carried out which are necessary to ensure that it continues to perform- such as the allocation of necessary budgets and the retention of appropriate staff to maintain the operation of the assets.
“Delivery” needs to be universally understood as embracing not just constructing the infrastructure, but the appropriate operation and maintenance thereafter for the whole design life of the asset.
There are so many problems associated with the maintenance of buildings and infrastructural facilities on the economy. One of the serious problems if finance; government financing as regards to maintenance of buildings (both public and private) is minimal. The grant towards maintenance of infrastructural facilities is on its lowest ebb. Most buildings and infrastructures have been neglected by subsequent tenures of government while the private sectors; the individual property owners have little or nothing to contribute towards effective maintenance of their buildings, so long as the buildings affords the owner annual income he could not care less for the maintenance and so long the interior of the building is conducive for the occupants they could not care for outward appearance or other necessary maintenance activity. Another problem to effective maintenance of the built environment in Nigeria is corruption. Certain governments which have the welfare of the populace at heart will foster a well finance programme to cater for the maintenance of certain facilities such as road networks bore hole systems, bridge construction, elevation of the power grid for alleviation of suffering and eventual welfare of the populace but certain corrupted officials will channel these funds for personal aggrandizement. Another serious impediment to maintenance in Nigeria is the state of the economy, according to the united research on profitability index as regards to income per capita of nations of the world; Nigeria is rated as fifth poorest country (UN 2010), which implies that the average Nigerian lives below one dollar per day. As a result of this economic hardship residents and citizens has little or nothing to contribute in terms of effective maintenance of their abode thus leading to neglected effects visualized in our cities and metropolis.
Also certain buildings in Nigerian cities were constructed during the pre-colonial era therefore most of these buildings are aged due to wear and tear, weathering and climatic factors over the years thus resulting in dilapidated nature which might not respond positively to modern day maintenance day techniques, the reason for this assertion being 51% repair – replacement strategy, such buildings, the cost of their repairs might equal over 50% cost of new construction.
Buildings and infrastructural decay also stems from poor workmanship and poor supervision (Amobi 2003), most of these defects arises from the fact that the skill employed during the production of these buildings are defective, the supervisory most at times is minimal or left in the hands of unskilled foremen thus creating a chasm which will be filled by unprofessional ethics thus resulting in failure in the life of the structure which will eventually be translated to the overall life span of the building/structure.
This study aims to identify the shortcomings which militate against the effective maintenance of buildings and infrastructures. Therefore there is need for effective maintenance of all these buildings and infrastructures and also identify the external factors militating against effective maintenance of building and infrastructural facilities to perform its functional requirement.
1.3 Aim and Objectives of the Study
The aim of this research work is to discover how maintenance of buildings and infrastructures can be effected, effectively to help increase the workers output thus increasing labour efficiency and increasing the income of the nation leading to increased income per capita of the populace.
The objectives of this research work are as follows:
- Have a proper look at the level of maintenance attention that buildings and infrastructures within Nigeria receive.
- Now the current building and infrastructural maintenance practice with a view to improve on them.
- To pin-point the various difficulties and problems that hamper the efficient execution of an effective maintenance management on buildings and infrastructure in Nigeria.
- To examine the causes that lead to the deterioration and dilapidations of buildings and infrastructures.
- To proffer solutions to the menace of lack of maintenance of buildings and infrastructures within Nigeria.
In emphasis, this project will show the need for proper maintenance schemes for buildings and infrastructures, that will help reduce maintenance cost, minimize loss of use, improve safety conditions, improve aesthetic values and improve appearance of buildings thereby reduces the cases of collapse of structures and the inherent dangers to life and investment.
1.4 Significance of the Study
Maintenance of buildings and the general infrastructures has not been given full recognition as an activity of primary importance in Nigeria. Maintenance activities on building and infrastructures in the country are mostly based on expediency, which over a period of time represents a series of ad hoc measures and unrelated compromise between the immediate physical needs and the availability of funds. Thus only about 15% of the total maintenance are remedied. If serious deterioration are not adequately taken care of future generations will be faced with a major capital burden.(Amobi 2003).
It is therefore imperative that maintenance activities should be increased/ intensified in order to ensure that the nation’s stock of buildings( factors of production and accommodation) which are considerable investments are used effectively as possible.
1.5 Scope and Delimitations
This project work covers the entirety of maintenance as regards to buildings and infrastructures with requisite effect it has on the Nigerian nation with reference to shell-camp housing estate, owerri, Imo state.
From the conception, design, construction and post construction, the various problems being faced by property developers, owners, users as regards to maintenance of buildings and infrastructures. Much emphasis is placed on the infrastructural aspect of maintenance work such as social and economic infrastructure as well as scope management and its application on the scope of this project.
Enough effort has been put to exhaust the scope aforementioned but time and cost constraint relative to the magnitude of maintenance problems are the major forms of limitations for the total achievement of the project objective.
1.7 Research Questions
This research work aims to answer these questions
- What is infrastructural and building maintenance?
- What are the direct effects of lack of maintenance to buildings and infrastructures?
- Does lack of maintenance affect the economy of Nigeria as a nation?
- What are the direct causes of poor maintenance value in Nigeria?
- Does poor maintenance value affect the Nigerian citizenry? How? And why?
- Is poor maintenance value as a result of illiteracy, negligence, contractor’s failure as regards to materials, labour and supervision failure, design failure or activities of the occupants?
These and many more are some of the questions this research work aims to satisfy.
Summary of Findings, Conclusion and Recommendations
5.1 Summary of Findings
From the analysis it was discovered that the impact of maintenance of buildings and infrastructural facilities has a major effect in the National economy.
This is the evidenced by the nature of responses received from the respondents. For all responses received the opinion of the respondents was that the impact of buildings and infrastructural maintenance contribute positively to the economy growth on and national development. It is therefore appropriate to note that maintenance is paramount in economic life of the nation.
The maintenance of buildings and infrastructural facilities in Nigeria requires attention at the highest level. This attention is of basic importance of which the objective must be to keep buildings and infrastructural facilities to acceptable standard in order to make them functional and reliable.
It was seen during research process that the level of maintenance activities in Nigeria is inadequate. Financing by both government and property owners which could have helped to increase buildings and infrastructural maintenance has not be properly implemented.
Certain government legislature and policies including taxation and property levies imposed on property owners have certainly affected the efficacy of maintenance activities.
The issue of every contractor being involved in project production with few engage in maintenance has been a major set- back because there are few maintenance professionals as against maintenance work requirement thus most infrastructural facilities are not optimally utilized.
The un-involvement of these few and far between maintenance professionals in the design stage of a project is another factor that negatively affect the efficiency of building/project production thus leading to recurrent maintenance work draining the pocket of both property owners and government-owned infrastructural facilities manage.
Poor attitude of workers and poor aptitude of the supervisory personnel during project development phase has also been a major problem. This has led to serious defects seen in the life span of buildings and infrastructural facilities which also affect the capacity output of the citizens.
Cutting cost in order to maximize profit by contractors through the use of substandard materials causes defects in the long run and subsequent maintenance requirement with its re-occurent maintenance cost affecting the economic output of citizens.
Lack of effective planning and scheduling also leads re-occurrence of faults due to defects thus subsequent re-occurrence of maintenance work and eventual lost of initial capital investment.
Inflation regards with regard to over blow appreciation in the value in the value of material cost and labour cost affects the efficacy of maintenance work requirement thus reduced economic growth.
Carelessness and recklessness of the users of the property are also a direct effect of defects and subsequent maintenance work which will affect the economic life of the owner, the user and even the environment.
Even-busy attitude of property owners and residents due to bustling and hustling of everyday life is also a cause of neglect especially house-keeping aspect of maintenance and thus has led to low maintenance attitude and subsequent rundown appearance of infrastructural facilities.
Series of investigations carried out by the researcher on the maintenance of buildings and infrastructures in Nigeria points to the fact that maintenance activities within Nigeria is at a low ebb and as such many buildings and infrastructures are in a state of disrepair. It was also observed that adequate attention s not given to maintenance in most departments, ministries and parastatals. Even where some attention is given, maintenance activities are left in the hands of administrator who possess little or no knowledge of maintenance works in general. This leads to little or nothing being done as and when due.
Therefore the numerous problem associated with maintenance could be solved if the following recommendations are adopted;
- The government should enact legislature mandating individual to maintain their properties at regular intervals. They should be told to keep maintenance record which must be submitted yearly to the public maintenance authority. Government should also establish and maintain central maintenance authority and create their offices at federal, state and local government level to ensure proper and adequate maintenance of government owned properties by the government maintenance officials. These officials will also ensure compliance to efficient and effective maintenance standard.
- During annual fiscal budget presentation the government through the ministry of work should map out funds for engagement of professionals in effective maintenance of all government owned properties.
- Maintenance professionals should be incorporated in the design team to advice other professional colleagues on the maintenance implication of their design alternatives and alternative methods of construction for easy maintenance.
- All professionals in the built environment should diversify. Every one of them should not be competing in project production. They should take all maintenance works as an aspect of the construction industry to be able to carry out effectively and efficiently the teaming maintenance work requirement in Nigeria. Professional ethics should be imbibed by these professionals by avoiding cuttingcost in order to maximize profit through the use sub-standard materials in both construction and maintenance work. Quality workmanship and effective supervision at every stage of project production should be optimal in order to effect quality project production and subsequent minimal maintenance requirement.
- Every facility and property should have a well detailed maintenance plan, program and schedule to aid in effective maintenance operation. Property owners should bear in mind the need for these maintenance activities and as such should map out a percentage of the initial cost of the property for subsequent maintenance cost in the life span of the property. Property owners of residents should also map out days in their busy life to effectively ‘house-keep’ their property and they should embark carefulness in the use of the property to reduce rate of defect and subsequent re-occurrence maintenance cost.
- Choice of material is paramount in the provision of qualitative building with minimum maintenance problems. The professionals involved should recommend materials which have been tested and the property fully known at the design stage. They should also endeavor to be conversant with the behavior of material over various conditions and the economic life, choice of materials and recommendation for alternatives. They should as well advice or educate clients on the merit of primary use of superior materials which are eventually more costly in the long run. There should also be a bye-law regulating the quality of building materials and equipments to be marketed in Nigeria.
- Lastly, the syndrome of new government-new project promotes negligence to the maintenance industry in Nigeria. Each new government for reasons best known to them prefers such but this attitude should discontinue because it promote negligence and abandonment of quality properties already owned by the government and subsequent dilapidations.
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