IMPROVING MAINTENANCE CULTURE AND QUALITY OF PUBLIC PROPERTIES

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CHAPTER ONE 

INTRODUCTION 

1.1     BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY 

The Advanced Learners Dictionary defines maintenance as the process of protecting or preserving someone or something, or the process of keeping something in good condition. Culture, on the other hand, is a way of life, a lifestyle, customs, traditions, habits that portray the attributes of a person/people. Maintenance culture is an attitude which is sadly lacking in Nigeria, whether in the home, office, school or factory.  Mbamali (2013) added that poor maintenance culture has become a widely recognized problem in Nigeria which has poorly affected the quality of public properties. Public property is property that is dedicated to public use and is a subset of state property. The term may be used either to describe the use to which the property is put, or to describe the character of its ownership (owned collectively by the population of a state). This is in contrast to private property, owned by an individual person or artificial entities that represent the financial interests of persons, such as corporations. State ownership, also called public ownership, government ownership or state property, are property interests that are vested in the state, rather than an individual or communities (Wikipedia, 2015).

Maintenance culture in Nigeria is one of the lowest around the world, especially, in our principal towns and cities where the majority of public properties are located. In the rural areas, the story is different and pleasant to hear. The traditional practice of communal clearing of community owned places such as market playground is in almost every village and in private homes. Also, it is customary to refurbish building interiors with mixtures of cow dung or natural red clay. The end result is attractive and totally indigenous. According to Wahab (2015) the nation accords low priority to property management leading to neglect of public properties. Mbamali (2013) asserted that we have no maintenance policy and therefore no such culture exists. Neglect of maintenance has accumulated consequences in rapid increase in the deterioration of the fabric and finishes of a building, accompanied by a harmful effect on the content occupants Seeley, (2017).

Inadequate maintenance culture is a peculiar feature of almost every public building in Nigeria. According to Rotimi and Mtallib (2015) is partly due to poor maintenance culture on one hand and partly due to the absence of an appropriate benchmark. Gurjit (2010) asserted that lack of proper maintenance culture brings the life of these public building last before reaching the total obsolescence state. The declining maintenance culture in Nigeria and its effect on public buildings and all other properties has become a major problem to the government at various levels.  This study examines ways of improving maintenance culture and its effect on quality of public properties A great portion of a nation wealth is evident in the total value of its public properties and buildings; it is also an important factor in the production of the building to be preserved. A poorly maintained building in a decaying environment depresses the quality of live and contributes in some measures to anti-social behaviour which threatens the socio-political environment it finds itself in.

According to Stephen (2012) public properties services rarely perform as well as desired. The causes emanate from deficiencies in design, construction, commissioning and maintenance, many researchers have also observed that the generators of maintenance problems could be looked upon has caused during the design stage or construction stage or initiated during the usage stage or the user’s carefree attitudes (Bad maintenance culture) which will eventually deteriorate the condition of the property. He further said that all these could be planned for during the design stage. Maintenance problems though do manifest during the use of the building, their causes might be during the design stage. These made Dekker(2012) to assert that thinking on the maintenance should start in the design phase. 

According to Speight (2010), it is at the design stage that the maintenance burden can be positively influenced for better or for worse. Where the designer fails to make adequate consideration for minimizing maintenance problems, it always turns out to be a big problem when the building is eventually occupied for usage, the consideration for effective maintenance as one of the parameters for the building design. Seeley (2017) also said that a skillful design can reduce the amount of maintenance work and also make it easier to perform, since good maintenance begins on the drawing board.  

1.2   STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM 

Oladimeji (2016) further described maintenance of public properties as the combination of any continuous actions carried out to retain a property in or restore it to an acceptable condition. Onwuka (2015) stated that maintenance culture is concerned with the planning and control of construction resources to ensure that necessary repairs and renewal are carried out with maximum efficiency and economy to enhance the quality of the property. However, the researcher is examining the ways of improving maintenance culture and quality of public properties in Nigeria.

1.3   OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

The following are the objectives of this study: 

1.  To examine ways of improving maintenance culture in Nigeria. 

2.  To determine ways of enhancing the quality of public properties through improved maintenance culture. 

3.  To determine the factors affecting maintenance culture in Nigeria.   

1.4      RESEARCH QUESTIONS 

1.  What are the ways of improving maintenance culture in Nigeria? 

2.  What are the ways of enhancing the quality of public properties through improved maintenance culture? 

3.  What are the factors affecting maintenance culture in Nigeria. 

1.5   SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY 

The following are the significance of this study: 

1.  The findings from this study will educate the government and policy makers, stakeholders in building and the general public on the need for improvement in maintenance culture as a way of improving the quality of public property. 

2.  This research will also serve as a resource base to other scholars and researchers interested in carrying out further research in this field subsequently, if applied will go to an extent to provide new explanation to the topic 

1.6   SCOPE/LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY 

This study on improving maintenance culture and quality of public properties in Nigeria will cover the attitude of Nigerians to the adequate maintenance of public properties, looking at ways to improve maintenance culture with a view to improve the quality of public properties. 

LIMITATION OF STUDY 

Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).

Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.

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