Stakeholders in the building industry have been charged to uphold standard ethics, which would put the sector in good light and lead to improved welfare for practitioners.
A professor of Estate Management at the University of Lagos, Nigeria, Timothy Nubi, attributed the high rate of poverty among building professionals in the country to a lack of an ethical standard.
Speaking as the guest speaker at the inauguration of the National Executive Council of the Association of Facility Management Practitioners in Lagos, he advised estate managers to pay the price to make the profession more attractive, adding that ethical revolution, a system of punishment and reward, mentorship programmes, among others, were essential.
He decried the state of building professionals being tenants rather than landlords.
He said, “The poverty among professionals in the built industry is an eyesore, being part of the contemporary issues facing professionals in this field.
There was a time the Lagos State chapter of architects invited me to come and talk to them about home ownership through cooperatives.
I was shocked when I learned the teaching was for the architects. I was told that 75 per cent of the architects there were rentals.
Meanwhile, the president-elect of the association, Paul Erubami, said as facility management professionals, the responsibility for managing the physical assets of organisations should be maintained to the highest standards.
He said, “Facility management is a complex and dynamic field that requires a broad range of skills, knowledge, and competencies.
As the new president of our professional body, I am committed to ensuring that our members have access to the tools, resources, and training they need to excel in their roles and as they strive to elevate themselves and the profession from obscurity into the limelight.
“Professional development is an essential part of our organisation’s mission and I believe that we can enhance our membership programmes to better support capacity building for our members.
We will focus on providing relevant and timely training and other enlightenment sessions that reflect the latest industry trends and best practices.
We will also explore new avenues for delivering training, such as online courses, webinars and other digital resources, to make it more accessible and convenient for our members through strategic partnerships with facility management training providers both locally and internationally.”
According to him, collaboration and knowledge-sharing with allied professional bodies in the built environment are essential for advancing the profession.
He remarked, “We will work to foster a culture of openness and cooperation among our esteemed partners from other professional bodies and we will create opportunities for networking and sharing ideas.
By working together, we can learn from each other and drive innovation in facility management and the built environment.”
He further advised that awareness should be raised on the value of facility management and its contribution to the success of organisations and governments.
In an exclusive interview with The Punch, the Chairman of the Local Organising Committee of the 2023 AFMPN conference, Segun Akindele, said the acceptability of the profession in comparison with other professions is not at par.
He said, “We in the built industry are building for other people but we are not building for ourselves because of inaccessibility to funding.
Builders are underpaid, in addition to the negotiation of their fee; the client dictates the pay most times because they know they are in dire need.”
Speaking on the way forward, Akindele said standard policies should be in place
He added, “When you have an association dedicated to building its professionals and they are well remunerated by the reference the government has given to them through implemented policies, it would boost the image of the profession and this would automatically enhance the remuneration of the professionals.”