The Africa Association of Facilities Management Practitioners (AFMP) in Abuja on Monday held its conference to accelerate facilities management adoption across Africa President of AFMPN Collins Osayamwen said that the idea started in 2020 and this year Nigeria is privileged to host the rest of Africa to this conference.
Osayamwem said facility management basically works with the people that use the facility (i.e when the building is completed), “the FM ensures that the user of the facility is healthy, safe and secured within the facility.”
He explained that the construction of the property is the job of the structural engineer; “to ensure that buildings are safe from construction while the facility manager ensures that the building satisfies the need it was designed to fulfill.
“Every building has a purpose and what we do is to ensure that building is performing the purpose, he said.
He however, added that the FMs still have a role to play in ensuring that buildings are conceived and developed to ensure that the people concerned are safe at the end of the construction of that building and the continuation or the use of the facility at the end of the day.
The question, he said is, “are facility managers recognised for their strategic contribution and their role within the built environment?
“How many developers recognise that the facility manager is integral and important in ensuring that buildings are designed and built to satisfy the needs of the users of the facility?
Ordinarily, the Facility Manager knows that whatever is put on the facility during construction will impact on the operations and maintenance and ongoing use of the building and for the life of the facility.”
Responding to a question on building collapse, he further said, “there are couple of things that could cause building collapse, possibly because people don’t follow Standards. So when you ignore standards that have been established; whether the use of materials or the way construction should be done, you will likely get a collapsed building.
“And there are a lot of things that make somebody throw standards to the wind because possibly the people who are supposed to oversee the standards cut corners; they look the other way because somebody has influenced their decision. Once you ignore standards buildings are bound to collapse so all we need to do is to enforce standards and we’ll have our buildings safe,” he added
Also speaking, the Vice Chair of AFM, Maria Morapedi noted that, “we have started the journey because we recognised that in every country in Africa there are different maturities of development.
“So we started the journey of creating Facility Management of Africa, where we are all working together to encourage one another to form associations, to develop standards, education.“We have also done a survey which will be presented at the conference and so we are building on the background of what the association has already done. We are thankful to have four-runners; Facility Management Practitioners of Nigeria, we also have South Africa, others are coming. We are also going to develop associations across the continent.
“It’s a work in progress, it will take time, but definitely we are going to collaborate with one another; it’s not a one man job, it’s a continent wide job,” she said
Chair and COO, AFM Eng. Sherif Maged Khaled also stated that It’s about having facility management prosper in Africa and helping all associations in Africa become existing and working as it should be and helping out a new generation of FM practitioners in all African countries to be trained and well equipped with knowledge and education and everything that it takes to be there.
“The facility management association is still a baby; it was launched a couple of years ago. We are learning from our Nigerian friends how to become good facility managers; how to grow. But in terms of facilities in Egypt, it is now developing and our friends in Nigeria are the ones helping us to perform in the right direction,” he said