The Federal Government on Thursday said the newly approved National Maintenance Framework for public buildings would improve the living standard of artisans and middle-classes in the country.

It said the approval, which was provoked by a memorandum from the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing on the maintenance culture of Nigerians became imperative to correct the general notion that the country lacked maintenance culture.

Speaking at a briefing on the National Infrastructure Maintenance framework in Abuja, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, explained that the Federal Executive Council, prior to the approval, was persuaded to accept that while skill training and vocational centres exist almost nationwide for training artisans like plumbers, painters, bricklayers, welders, tilers, electricians, there was no National policy that makes the practice of these vocations economically worthwhile on a sustainable basis.

As a result, he said artisans most times, make their living through other vocations such as motorcycles and tricycles business among others.

“The decision was provoked by a memorandum from the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing that challenged the conventional thinking that “Nigeria does not have a maintenance culture”.

“The memorandum argued and FEC agreed, that maintenance of infrastructure whether public or private, is not a cultural issue but an economic one.

“The memorandum showed that in the built industry, only about 23% of the workforce is employed by Design (6%) and Construction (15%), Governance (2%), while the remaining 77% are employed by Maintenance and operation,” he said.

However, he stated that the decision was economically viable as it aims; “ to empower Nigerians at the base of the economic pyramid who are artisans, those at the middle of the pyramid who own small businesses, SMEs who are involved in the manufacturing of building and allied materials.

“Site assessment of the affected buildings will have to be conducted, measurement is to be taken, valuation conducted and data is collated. This on its own requires the employment of people to carry out this process and therefore jobs will be created from the very first step.

“It will also provide for credible data such as lettable space, value of the property and so on which can form the basis of the economic decisions or even actions in emergency periods.

“Condition assessment is the next step that requires people to be trained and employed to assess the conditions of affected buildings from foundation to roof and for mechanical and electrical sustainability for purpose,” he said.

In 2018, the Nigerian Institute of Surveyors (NIS) had called for the establishment of a legal regulatory framework for the implementation of the National Public Buildings Maintenance Policy.

According to the institute, the Draft of the National Public Buildings Maintenance Policy would provide guiding principles for the maintenance and repairs of public buildings, in compliance with extant regulations.

However, on the 9th of January,2019, the FEC approved the National Maintenance Framework for public buildings.

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