Mrs Abimbola Olusegun Adamolekun is the chief executive officer of Dynamo Facilities Management. She studied microbiology at the university; she said she likes to pay attention to details. Adamolekun says she likes attending to people and making sure that everything is in place, adding that this led her into providing facility management services. She spoke with Ikechi Nzeako. Excerpts.
Tell us what Dynamo Facilities Management does?
Facilities management is a specialised profession that focuses on the delivery of efficient and effective services in a workplace, home, estate, banks, and hospitals among others. The facilities management profession integrates people, processes, systems and technology in a built environment, whether in a residential or industrial environment.
How long have you been in this line of business?
I have been in practice for 20 years; but I set up my own facilities management company about two years ago.
And how has the company fared?
Facilities management in the country has come of age. In the past, practitioners of the profession were called administrative officers and later became admin managers but today we called facilities managers. It has been interesting and challenging; the country itself is going through difficult and challenging time. It has been a bit challenging but we are getting there.
What is your assessment of the profession of facilities management in the country?
The awareness of the facilities management profession is high among blue chip companies like banks, insurance companies, multinational companies and companies in the oil and gas sector of the economy. They understand the value that facilities managers bring to the table. I believe that with time, other sectors, including government, will come to understand and appreciate the value that facilities managers bring to the table in the area of infrastructure in the country. However, people are getting more awareness and understanding of the profession.
You studied microbiology, apart from the facilities management profession, there are other things you could have done. What motivated you to choose facilities management?
The need to have a built environment that is properly organised in the country motivated me to join the profession. The fact is that without a facilities manager, the built environment cannot function efficiently and effectively. After building the facility, there is the need to properly maintain it and if you do not maintain it properly, the structure will collapse. So there is the need to maintain a facility whether it is a bank, hospital, an estate, or a hotel. I saw that lacking as I grew in my career and I thought I could fill that space. That was what motivated me into going into the profession.
When you say facilities management, what actual service do you provide to your clients?
As I said, it is a total package; we make sure that everything required in a built environment to make it function seamlessly is put in place. We make sure that there is power at all the time, whether you are using a generator or power from the national grid. We make proper periodic audit of the facility; you do not have to wait until there is a total rundown or collapse of the facility before you start to do maintenance work on the facility. We provide operations and maintenance; technology and communication are included and everything that has to do with the built environment.
These are some of the things that constitute facility management. We also manage your sewage treatment plant, water treatment plant; these are covered under facilities management.
What does it require to become a facilities manager? Do you have to be certified?
Absolutely yes, we have facilities managers from all walks of life. We have lawyers, architects, engineers and others who are facility management professionals. After your first degree, you take courses after you will be certified before you become a professional in the industry.
You have an association, does it relate with government?
The profession has not been chartered and we are trying to become chartered and as soon as that is done, we will begin to put regulations in place to regulate the profession.
How does your association ensure that people who are competent to provide the services they claim they can provide are not allowed to practise in the industry?
As I said earlier, this is one of the things we want to do when we are chartered and we will then be able to regulate activities in the industry. As soon as our charter is in place, we will be able to put structures and regulations in place.
What are the challenges in this line of business?
If you want something good, you have to pay for it. Some of our other colleagues in the built environment have not yet understood the importance and value of facilities management. They are concerned about our fees and services. However, as we grow in the industry, such issues will become clearer and they will understand and appreciate them. We need the government to buy in for people to understand and appreciate the importance of this profession. Things as little as drinking water and throwing the sachet around and drinking a bottle of mineral water and throwing the bottle around, these are issues that concern the facilities manager. As we grow the industry, we will overcome some of these challenges.
The Nigerian economy is in recession; how has this affected your business?
Like every other business, we have had our own ups and down; many companies like banks and others had to cut down on their staff and this affected our business directly and indirectly. We had organisations that had 10 janitors and had to cut the number down because of the financial situation in the country and this affected the industry directly and indirectly as well.
In spite of the challenges in the industry, you are still trudging on, where is the passion coming from?
The excellence, the high quality that I bring to the table motivates me. Doing the proper thing all the time drives me on the job. Anyone that has money as the motivating factor in his or her business or career will not go far. But when you have passion for what you do, you will go far.
There are people out there who want to venture into facilities management or any other business but are afraid to take the plunge. What do you say to them?
My word to them is that they should hold on; they should not give up. Nigeria will get better and things will get better. Let us hold on and keep praying for Nigeria.
Source : Independent
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