Evolving Maintenance Culture in Nigeria

The Role of Facilities Management



By Dr Reuben A Okereke

Department of Quantity Surveying
Imo State University

Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria




The public perception as an “all comers’ affairs” poses a challenge of competence on practitioners, while the multidisciplinary nature of the practice of facilities management (FM) enhances access to requisite professionals in puts. Maintenance on the other hand is important for production of machinery and equipment’s in technological advancement since population is fast growing. The aim of the study is to examine the role of facilities management to the evolving maintenance culture in Nigeria by professionals practicing facilities management. Lagos state was used as a case study and structured questionnaires were administered to 150 professional facilities managers within the state. Also data was gotten from other researchers work and articles. Result of the study shows that 39% of the respondents have between 6-10 years of working experience, which means that younger generation professionals currently dominate the practice of FM. It has been established that FM can be best practiced by adopting information standardization, acquisition of more relevant trainings by practitioners as well as the practice performance benchmarking. Finding validates the literature on the multidisciplinary nature of FM. Also to embrace a better maintenance culture within the country, industry, professional bodies and university academics have to embrace FM practice and begin to create innovations that will move FM practice in Nigeria to maturity stage just like in the developed countries like USA and UK.

Key words: multidisciplinary nature, facilities management, maintenance, culture, industry


As the population is fast growing, technological advancement (in quality and quantity) should also be growing in like manner, for this reason production engineers and manufacturers are working round the clock seeking for the technical ideals of maintenance to meet up with ever increasing demand of the populace. Infrastructural development is the basis and bedrock of any development effort in the world today. The maintenance of production machinery and equipment and assurance of availability of spare parts are becoming increasingly important (Ramdeen and Pun, 2005). It is important to stress that, it is not enough for facilities of development to be put in place; it is more than enough for these facilities to be adequately and properly maintained so that the purpose for which they are meant would be accomplished.

Maintenance management is a data-intensive activity which forms an important aspect of human and non-human resources development as it is considered one of the major catalysts of the continuous existence of all forms of resources in the universe (Uma, 2009). With the increasing specialization and complexity of equipment and other facilities used in manufacturing, the need to develop effective maintenance culture in the industries had become imperative (Olatunbosun and Abimbola, 2005). Olatunde (2009) is of the view that understanding the importance of project sustainability will mean incorporating long term facility management agreements in all major projects.

Maintenance is the work necessary to keep the body, equipment and machines in proper and safe operating conditions (Usman, 2008). Maintenance is therefore seen as a vital part and a necessity in human or non-human resources management if they are to be continuously functional. Maintenance can be summarized as the repair and upkeep of existing equipment’s, buildings and facilities to keep them in a safe, effective as designed condition so that they can meet their intended purpose (Eti et al, 2004, Adeniyi et al 2004). Any equipment or facility has a pre-determined expected standard of performance and support for extent to which the maintenance objectives are met as regards the satisfaction of both internal, external and customers requirements (Oluleye and Olajire, 2009). The phrase maintenance culture could therefore be seen as an important one that should be defined to have a proper understanding of what it stands for in the process of sustainable development. In financial perspective, maintenance is classified as an operating expense while the other non-maintenance activities such as process optimization, manufacture of replacement parts, relocation, upgrading, modification and installation of equipment (plant engineering functions) are capitalized. Ajibola (2009) defines culture as “the shared belief and values of a group; the beliefs, customs, practices and social behavior of a particular nation or people”. A good maintenance culture ensures that machinery functions properly even when depreciation is assured. Cost saving can be enormous if basic maintenance procedures are put in place (Ikpo, 2000). Appropriate maintenance culture, proper repair and preventive maintenance of industrial machinery and equipment will not totally prevent their breakdown and failure but it would reduce it to a barest minimum. Also, the cost of preventive maintenance would be returned in many folds in the form of better performance, greater reliability and long equipment useful life. It may even enhance less down time during peak operating period (Adigun and Ishola, 2004).

Maintenance work is generated by a whole range of factors including weathering, corrosion, dirt, structural and thermal movement, wear, low initial expenditure, passing of time, incorrect specification, inferior design, poor detailing and damage by users. Some of the major maintenance problems stem from the use of new materials and techniques.


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How to cite this paper: Okereke, R.A. (2020). Evolving Maintenance Culture in Nigeria: The Role of Facilities Management; PM World Journal, Vol. IX, Issue VII, July.  Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/pmwj95-Jul2020-Okereke-evolving-maintenance-culture-in-nigeria2.pdf



About the Author

Dr. Reuben A. Okereke

Owerri, Nigeria



Q.S. Dr. Reuben A. Okereke, PhD, QS & Sust. Dev., MSc. Const. Mgt., MSc. Env. Res. Mgt., FRQS, FIIA, FAPM, ACArb, CIPM, MAACEI., is a multi-talented and erudite scholar. A versatile professional with academic qualifications in Quantity Surveying, Project Management, Construction Management and Environmental Resource Management. His Quantity Surveying professional experience of almost three decades spans through his employment with consultancy and construction firms in Lagos, Nigeria, work as Project Manager in the Bank for eight years, services as in-house consultant Quantity Surveyor for several years for the Imo State University Owerri, Nigeria, experience as Consultant Quantity Surveyor in private practice as well as several years of teaching in both the University and Polytechnic. He is currently serving his second term as the head of department of Quantity Surveying, Imo State University, Owerri, Nigeria. He can be contacted at  raphicaben2013@gmail.com