THE IMPACT OF MAINTENANCE OF BUILDINGS AND INFRASTRUCTURAL FACILITIES TO THE NATIONAL ECONOMY
1.1 Background of 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
(a) constructed buildings both private and public
(b) road network
(c) water supply systems
(d) sanitary and drainage systems
(e) transmission poles and electricity lines
(f) government owned telephone networks
(g) telegraph and postal systems
(h) 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:
(a) Have a proper look at the level of maintenance attention that buildings and infrastructures within Nigeria receive.
(b) Now the current building and infrastructural maintenance practice with a view to improve on them.
(c) To pin-point the various difficulties and problems that hamper the efficient execution of an effective maintenance management on buildings and infrastructure in Nigeria.
(d) To examine the causes that lead to the deterioration and dilapidations of buildings and infrastructures.
(e) 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
(a) What is infrastructural and building maintenance?
(b) What are the direct effects of lack of maintenance to buildings and infrastructures?
(c) Does lack of maintenance affect the economy of Nigeria as a nation?
(d) What are the direct causes of poor maintenance value in Nigeria?
(e) Does poor maintenance value affect the Nigerian citizenry? How? And why?
(f) 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.
1.8 definition of terms
Definition of maintenance as regards to buildings and infrastructures
Maintenance is a generic term to include planned maintenance, repair and reimbursement and provision of replacement of the structure. The goal of maintenance is to sustain the life of major assets whether building or infrastructure. (According to a training workshop on maintenance ofinfrastructures between 28 march- 1st April 2011 in kuala lumpur, Malaysia. Organized by International science, technology and innovation centre for south-south co-operation under the auspices of UNESCO).
British standard(BS 583) (1974) define maintenance as the combination of all technical and associated administrative actions intended to retain an item in, or restore it to, a state in which it can perform its required function. The requirement for maintenance must not be less than those necessary to meet the relevant requirements and ‘maintained’ is defined in factories act 1961 as “maintained in an efficient state, in efficient working order and in good repair”
According to British Standard (BS 3811) maintenance is defined as “works undertaken in order to keep or restore every facility i.e. every part of a building, site and concept to an acceptable standard”. An acceptable standard in building terms is one which sustains the utility and value of the facility.
Chartered institute of building (C.I.O.B) UK (1982) went forward to use this definition on maintenance “works undertaken to keep, restore or improve every facility i.e. every part of the building, its services and surroundings to agreed standards determined by the balance between need and available resources.
Obiegbu M.E. (1998) defined maintenance as a programmed transformation of a building fabric and services, reflecting changes in pattern of use and technology.
Amobi C.O (2006) opined that “maintenance could be defined in engineering terminology as the continuous upkeep, in good condition of a system(s) to achieve
operational reliability with maximum design output result, endurance and stability. This definition has been adapted for building maintenance as work undertaken to keep or restore every facility, that is, every part of a site, building and content to acceptable standard. Thus maintenance aims at retaining components, equipment as well as the entire structure at specified level of performance. The acceptable standard inferred must be no less than statutory requirement and one which sustains the facility and the value of the facilities. This may include a degree of improvement over the life of the building as acceptable comfort and amenity standards rise