Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen
Let me first of all congratulate you, one and all, on yet another World FM Day, an international commemoration of this innovative practice that many of you belong to. It was with surprise and thereafter great pleasure that I received the invitation to attend this roundtable conference.
I’m pleased because it gives me an opportunity to mix with what should be the growth sector of Nigeria’s service industry; an industry that I call the ‘treasurers of our common wealth’ because where public sector spending is concerned, the absence of management has been the greatest leakage in our economy after corruption. Our common wealth is in our effective management of our public spend on facilities.
I’m surprised, because I thought my connection with the FM industry was a closely guarded secret. Little could you have known that while I was in public service (as Attorney General & Commissioner for Justice Lagos State 2007-2011), I was deeply involved in conceptualising the first office of facility management in the public sector in Nigeria for Lagos State in March 2010.
In my memo to the Governor I noted, ‘the need for ensuring sustainable growth in the state for timely and effective infrastructure maintenance regime for public buildings to…establish an office to advise on management of public facilities’. The Office of Facility Management and Maintenance was established in the Governor’s office and exists till this day.
The intention was to ensure that government then engaged with private sector service providers and gradually phased out the maintenance and management role of the public service – a role that evidence shows they are clearly not best suited for.
I’m also pleased to be part of any effort to champion and advance your industry for several reasons:
Firstly the FM industry is one of the few industries that is certain for growth in the foreseeable future in this region and nation. For the sheer obvious reason that we have such a deficit to fill. I’m 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.
Infrastructure development is essential for progress across the African continent and it enables productivity and sustainable economic growth. It contributes significantly to human development, poverty reduction, and the attainment of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.
The Millennium Development Goals are eight (8) goals that the United Nation Member States in September 2000, agreed to try to achieve in fifteen (15) years. The goals include ensuring environmental sustainability and developing a global partnership for development. Investment in infrastructure accounts for over half of the recent improvement in economic growth in Africa and has the potential to achieve even more.
For Africa, the need for adequate infrastructure is particularly apparent. Africa’s vast infrastructural deficit is a constraint on its growth and as Africa becomes more urbanized, public goods will become easier and cheaper to deliver to a more geographically concentrated population. Key challenges will be to supply the burgeoning population with reliable electricity, affordable housing, and transport infrastructure, though these industries will also create new jobs. The potential is enormous.
The backbone of any national economy is its stock of infrastructure. Nigeria’s infrastructure has long been a bottleneck for economic growth and its infrastructure is underdeveloped compared to that of other fast-growing emerging economies. The country’s core infrastructure stock is estimated at only 35-40 % of GDP, in contrast to international benchmarks of 70 % of GDP. This low value has been driven by historically low public and private spending on infrastructure. However, there are prospects in Nigeria for sustained growth driven by an improved performance of the key non-oil sectors – agriculture, information and communication technology, trade and services, and of course real estate.
Social indicators are beginning to improve as efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals are intensified through the implementation of social-sector reforms, but the northeast region of our beloved country still faces conflict-related challenges.
I was privileged to serve on the steering committee for the National Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan (“NIIMP”). The thrust of the work of the steering committee was to review, upgrade and harmonize existing subsector master plans and strategies in the infrastructure sector, in order to ensure they are consistent with national development aspirations and to strengthen the policy, legal and institutional frameworks for effective infrastructure development in Nigeria.
The then Minister of National Planning and Deputy Chairman, National Planning Commission (NPC), Dr. Abubakar Sulaiman, speaking on the National Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan, stated that Nigeria requires about $3.05 trillion (N485 trillion) to provide quality infrastructure over the next 30 years, with an estimated cost of N166, billion (One Hundred and Sixty Six Billion Naira) required for phase 1. With Nigeria’s performance on the provision of funding for infrastructure standing at less than twenty-five percent (25 %), the growth potential is clear for all to see.
Maintenance costs will also grow significantly, as infrastructure stock increases. According to global benchmarks, maintenance spend should amount to approximately 2% of GDP, which translates into a total of about $23,000,000,000 (Twenty Three Billion United States Dollars) per annum.
Lagos State should represent a veritable source of continued growth for the FM industry where government has spent N1, 132,000,000 (One Trillion One Hundred and Thirty Two Billion Naira) on infrastructural development in the last eight years out of N2, 749,498,000 (Two Trillion Seven Hundred and Forty Nine Billion Four Hundred and Ninety Eight Thousand Naira) budgeted for the same period.
This money has been spent on 8,961 projects. Some of which include: the Eko Light Rail Project which aims to decongest traffic in Lagos; the “Metro Blue Line” which will move commuters from Marina to Okokomaiko, with thirteen (13) stops in-between, providing workers with an easier alternative to roads and the Eko Atlantic City Project to name a few.
The Lagos State Development Plan (LSDP) was borne out of the need to provide an overall direction for the growth and development of the State, and to provide a framework by which all sectors of the economy – public, private and civil society – can contribute to the improvement of the quality of life of people in the State. The plan provides overall direction for the growth and development of the State up to 2025, by which time it is estimated Lagos will be ranked as the third largest city in the world after Tokyo and Mumbai. Great potential indeed!
Next I should address a few challenges to you as the industry braces to engage the above opportunities, there is a need for greater advocacy of the salient benefits of facilities management obviously to the public sector but, and I’m sure you will agree, to the private sector as well.
The principles of the Circular Economy have been in habitable living for a number of years. These principles are based on sustainability, in which society’s materials are reclaimed, reused or recycled as secondary raw materials for new products. This reduces pressure on natural resources and contributes to sustainable economic growth.
There are obvious synergies with facilities management, as our needs continue to agitate our resources, for greater attention to maintenance, management and sustainable practises will continue to be the order of the day.
Facilities management operators should familiarise themselves with the Urban & Regional Planning and Development Law 2010 (“URPD”) and its insurance requirements related to construction sites that could be extended to their locations. The URPD Law provides for the administration of physical planning, urban development, urban regeneration and building control in Lagos State.
Pursuant to this Law, developers or owners of a construction involving a structure of more than two (2) floors are required to submit to the Building Control Agency a General Contractors All Risk Insurance Policy Certificate together with the application to commence building works.
Also the Labour Act 1971 which regulates the legal relations involved in the employer and employee relationship; as well as The Employees’ Compensation Act 2010 which makes provisions for the payment of compensation to employees who suffer from occupational diseases or sustain injuries arising from accidents at the workplace or in the course of employment. Non-compliance with the provisions of the above legislation attracts penalties.
As part of your future advocacy, it would be enlightened self-interest and immense interest to the nation, to advocate policy, and where necessary, legislation for the maintenance of public buildings and private estates – to keep our wealth (which could otherwise leak and waste away) common for all to enjoy, and to ensure that we build in resilience for the future.
As part of the built and service industries – entering contracts will be inevitable. Disputes are also inevitable. To keep both projects and relationships, current and going during the life of service contracts, I recommend strong dispute resolution clauses in all your contracts. Let me declare my bias – as President of the Lagos Court of Arbitration – I recommend the use of the Lagos Court of Arbitration clause which I have reproduced below.
“Any dispute arising out of, or in connection with, the interpretation of the provisions of this Agreement, or the performance of same, shall be submitted to the Lagos Court of Arbitration and shall be resolved under the Rules of the Lagos Court of Arbitration. The dispute shall be resolved by a sole arbitrator, except as otherwise agreed by the parties to be by a tribunal of three arbitrators. The appointment of the Arbitrator(s) shall be in accordance with the said Rules, and the Award/Decision of the arbitrator(s) shall be final and binding on the parties. The seat of the arbitration shall be Lagos, Nigeria and the language to be used in the arbitral proceedings shall be English.”
The Lagos Court of Arbitration would be happy to enter discussions with your associations to develop a scheme or dedicated dispute resolutions service for Facility Managers.
Self – Regulation:
I would recommend to the industry the commencement of self-regulation if you don’t already have such a platform. All too often, busy bodies or self-motivated ‘connected’ people with a lot more time and access at their disposal, engineer dubious laws that can otherwise disrupt professional business. It would not be remiss to study ways and means of self-regulation
In all, I’m in awe and envy of Nigerian facility managers because you are unusual Nigerians. This is because, unlike we are often told, Nigerians have a lot in common.
We are generally a welcoming generous people – how many times have you seen a Nigerian being mean to a foreigner just because he or she is a foreigner. NEVER!
We are noisy – we generally converse at several decibels above the normal…even when we WHISPER!
We generally do not like detail and accuracy – if you want to annoy a Nigerian give him a form to fill because of the detail required…
But not Nigerian Facility Managers…they have attention to detail and will take us into the 21st Century.
Keep up the good work and keep our common wealth going and strong!!!!
Thank you for listening and happy deliberations.
Olasupo Shasore SAN
President Lagos Court of Arbitration
Partner Ajumogobia & Okeke
 Attorney General & Commissioner for Justice Lagos State 2007-2011
 The Global Competitiveness Report 2014–2015 Full Data Edition: published by the World Economic Forum within the framework of The Global Competitiveness and Benchmarking Network
 The Lagos State Development Plan (LSDP) 2012-2025