As Nigeria joins the rest of the world to celebrate this year’s World Facilities Management Day tomorrow, stakeholders in facilities management sector in the country are expected to gather at a roundtable in Lagos to examine how facilities management plays an integral role in enabling positive experience for all stakeholders in the real estate value chain of facilities management providers, customers, employees, government and others.
Briefing the press on the roundtable event which is the seventh edition to be organised by Alpha Mead Facilities, a foremost Lagos-based facilities management company at the weekend, Femi Akintunde, an engineer and Group Managing Director, Alpha Mead Group, said given the dynamics that characterise the Nigerian economy, his company has domesticated this year’s theme to reflect the current realities within facilities management industry, pointing out that subsequently, the theme for the Nigerian FM Roundtable 2018 is: Enabling Positive Experiences in a Post-Recession Real Estate Market.
According to Akintude: “…the real estate market was one of the worst hit sectors during the15-month period of economic recession which lasted from Q1 2016 to Q2 2017. The sector saw its growth potential dim as the market was defined by low demand, widening vacancy rates, increasing case of rent service charge defaults and slowdown in construction activities.
“While we acknowledge that these market characteristics are gradually fading away owing to improving macroeconomic indices, it is also pertinent to note that the real estate market is still struggling to recover from the lull.
“For instance, a Q1, 2018 report by International Real Estate Partners, IREP, Nigeria, one of our strategic business units noted that rents in commercial property such as grade ‘A’ office space could lightly fall below the current average of $700 per square metre, as the market anticipates the arrival of 37,000 square metres in Victoria Island and Ikoyi, while demand for this class of office space is not growing at the same pace.
“In the retail space, the report further suggests that the rise in neighborhood retail stores is decreasing footfalls at the modern retail centres. Therefore, the modern retail centres need to provide add-ons of some leisure experience to increase footfall and deliver value to their investors.
“These are our current market realities, and the stories are similar in other sectors, either residential or industrial space, hospitality or the healthcare market. Therefore, for these markets to receive a new lease of life, what roles will FM play in enabling the positive experience for its stakeholders?
“How will FM contribute to the bottom line of corporate organisations? How will it aid employee productivity and business profitability? How will it help landlords attract the right tenants and retain them? How will it improve the experience in the healthcare space and rescue our nation from the challenges of medical tourism?
“How do we deliver stronger return on investment to private real estate investors and developers?”