A STUDY OF QUANTITY SURVEYORS’ PERCEPTION ON FACILITY MANAGEMENT IN THE NIGER DELTA AREA OF NIGERIA
- Background of the Study
Construction of a project consists of the integration of professionals, contractors and client(s) and the other participants, manufacturers, suppliers and government bodies. Walker (2002) affirmed that construction industry is essentially a service industry whose responsibility is to convert the plan and specifications prepared by engineers and/or architects into shed projects. Construction includes activities such as alteration, building, relocation, decoration, demolition, renovation maintenance, repairs of buildings, roads, structures, sewers water or gas main pipelines, transmission lines, tunnels, bridges canals and other associated works. Atkin (2000), stated that “facility management is the management of building services. It is a relatively new profession in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria”. Adedeji (2005) affirmed “facilities management has been in existence in Nigeria for the past ten years on professional level with the introduction of International Facilities Management Association (IFMA) in Nigeria”.
The International Facilities Management Association (IFMA) defined Facilities Management (FM) as “the integration of processes within an organisation to maintain and develop the agreed services, which support and improve the effectiveness of its primary activities. The British Institute of facilities management has a wider scope of meaning than simply “the management of buildings and services” it defined facilities management as the integration of multi-disciplinary activities within the built environment and the management of their impact upon people and the workplace”. The definition above offers a slightly simpler description of the term facilities management. A well simplified definition of facilities management was propounded by Ramsey (2001). He stated that “facilities management is a process of managing al the multiple services that enable a facility to become a profitable investment for its owners and a productive environment for its users”. Facility management depends upon the skill, vision, experience of the practitioners Nnachi (2007) and Okezie (2007). DeLucy (1989) stated that “the facility manager can then make all necessary decisions concerning systems, services and supplies, so that the facility can be run at a productive level for owner users”
Facilities management as an antecedent in property management and maintenance could be said to mean “the supervising, directing and the controlling of interest in landed property with a view to obtaining the possible maximum return, which in most cases is financial but could also be political, social status, prestige or any management objectives, which an investor chooses (Obelender, 2000). It is on this background that this study was carried out.
1.2 Statement of Problem
As facility management is a very important subject of debate in the construction industry, there exists an argument in who should play this role in the Industry. Other professionals such as the engineers, builders, architects and estate values admit that the Quantity Surveyor should be involved in facilities management. Study reveals that among these professional, the Quantity Surveyor has the upper edge to play the leading role based on his vast and versatile knowledge in cost engineering, which deals with both construction cost and maintenance or running cost of engineering, which deals with both construction cost and maintenance or running cost of socio-infrastructural facilities, that need proper management. One, therefore, argues whether or not the quantity surveyor with all these attributes and qualities is qualified to perform this important role in the construction industry. To this end therefore, it is highly important to investigate into the perception of the Quantity Surveyor on facilities management in the Niger Delta area of Nigeria.
1.3 Aim and Objectives of the Study
The researcher sought to investigate the perception of the Quantity Surveyor on facility management in the construction industry.
The specific objectives were:
- To identify the factors that qualify a quantity surveyor as a facility manager.
- To access the factors that affect the effective facilities management practices in Nigeria.
- To examine the level of involvement of the Quantity Surveyor in the facilities management practice.
1.4 Significance of Study
The outcome of the study will be of immense value to practicing Quantity Surveyor and other allied professionals who are willing to forge ahead into the discipline of facilities management. The study will also be relevant to all professionals, government and other stakeholders involved in the construction industry.
1.5 Research Questions
This research work set to answer the following questions:
- Is facility management relevant in the construction industry?
- Does the construction industry employ a facility manager?
- What role should Quantity Surveyors play for effective facilities management?
- What are the qualities required by a Quantity Surveyor to make him the best professional for facilities management?
1.6 Scope of Study
This research work was carried out in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. The study was limited to both socio-economic and infrastructural facilities that were executed between 2000 and 2006.