Prioriting Repair And Maintenance Works Despite Economic Challenges

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Prioriting Repair And Maintenance Works Despite Economic Challenges By Dr Kenny Odugbemi

Government must prioritise repair and maintenance despite economic challenges by addressing many urgent issues in the repairs and maintenance sector (R&M) as the nation grapples with current economic challenges and general insecurity.

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The Building Cost Information Service (BCIS) predicts that R&M output will fall 7% in 2024 before recovering in 2025 and beyond, but warns that the economic backdrop remains uncertain and that recent inflation has cut into existing maintenance budgets in all sectors, particularly in the public sector. 

Our School of thought maintained that the anticipated fall in the repairs and maintenance sector must not be allowed to happen, as there are many urgent issues that need addressing.across all public Infrastructures

“R&M is integral to improving the quality of our buildings and creating environments that people can live, work and flourish in.
We are calling for all the main parties to prioritise R&M.   

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“We urge the current government to fulfill its promises in the areas where it has allocated funding, as well as investing more in green-collar skills to ensure we have an adequately skilled workforce to achieve these aims.

We also ask all our States and local governments including Federal Capital territory- Abuja to follow through on the current Federal government’s commitments.” on legacy project since the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu pronounced the continuity of all going concern projects at terriary, secondary and primary level across all regions innitiated by the last administration and also maintaining existing legacy Infrastructures for sake of prosterity

There were many sectors that remained unscathed in 2023, from the negative impact of high borrowing and low consumer demand. and extremely low consumer purchasing power in Nigeria

Housing was the most affected, as inflationary pressures and persistently high mortgage rates slowed down activity.

However, R&M was one sector that performed better than expected and drove growth – with growth of over 6%, according to the latest BCIS forecast.

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Energy-saving measures  
The BCIS has outlined the key areas political parties should prioritise in their manifestos and allocated funding accordingly.  

✓Ensuring that social housing addresses both health and safety and energy-efficiency concerns quickly and in equal measure, was top of the list.” 

However, the BCIS cautions that these competing demands could potentially constrain the proportion of funds that councils are able to allocate for day-to-day repair and maintenance.  

✓It also calls on the government to prioritise measures that would make existing homes more environmentally friendly, such as the recent announcement that the government has signed major contracts with DFI’s – including Siemens of Germany to fund energy-saving measures and sustainability initiatives under Total Turn’s key power programme.  from generation-transmission.and distribution system

Recent government proposals to speed up the planning process have also highlighted the lack of skills across planning authorities in energy-efficient retrofitting, with just 16% of local authority staff feeling “very confident” in this area,

Based on our local research studies an appropriately skilled and trained workforce is required to future-proof our buildings. 

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The Road concrete proposal will have a cost impact across the public sector,

The government has also announced that it intends to set out plans and measures to decarbonisation in preparation for zero emissions by 2060 to claim carbon credit.

The DFI’s ever-growing to-do list, coupled with the urgent need to address pressing remediation works, highlights just how essential it is to allocate funds to non-residential and public R&M this year.   

Businesses that wish to encourage their workforces back to the office will “increasingly need to consider how they can improve the quality of the working environment”, warns the BCIS.

As minimum energy-efficiency standards (MEES) regulations are tightened, “pressure will also mount to improve the ratings of Energy Performance Certifications (EPC) given to buildings – a move that will meet both government requirements but also the expectations of customers and employees who increasingly place a high value on green credentials”

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