By Ajayi Adigun
The 100 – bed general hospital is the first of its kind in the former Ekamarun Council of Ose Local Government Area.
The decision of the Ondo State Government in partnership with the Sustainable Development Goals Organisation to site the hospital in Ifon is a laudable one.
Equally noteworthy is the re – construction of Araromi Road leading to the General Hospital on the one hand and to the moribund Ceramic Industry Ifon on the other hand, both projects owned by the Ondo State Government.
The imposing Oba Israel Adeusi General Hospital is coming thirty-seven years after the inauguration of the Ceramic Industry. Those who were privileged to witness the inauguration of the Ceramic Industry in 1984 and had hoped that the company share-holders would be counting their blessings about now would be skeptical sharing in the euphoria of the commissioning of the General Hospital.
However, we all pray that the General Hospital project will not suffer the same neglect as the Ceramic Industry.
Arakunrin Akeredolu the Executive Governor of Ondo State must have noticed the joy he brought to the people of Ifon and environs by this singular gesture in answer to the prayers of Oba Israel Adeusi while alive for a General Hospital to cater for the health and well being of his people. It is hoped that the Governor will ensure that the hospital project is made truly sustainable by empowering competent facility experts to entrench an effective Maintenance Culture in the hospital.
This way the hospital will continue to serve the lofty purpose for which it was established long after the Governor’s tenure from office and to the glory of God.
A Research fellow on Maintenance Culture said, “There is no gainsaying the fact that infrastructural development is the basis and bedrock of any development effort. Without a strong Maintenance Culture, efforts at infrastructural development will amount to nothing. It is not enough for facilities of development to be put in place, it is more than enough for them to be adequately and properly maintained”. He further said, ”We often hear people complain that WE lack Maintenance Culture when referencing the state of properties generally in Nigeria. The word WE in the above sentence is very appropriate because only few people appreciate maintenance”. This may sound like an indictment on our real estate but it is a reality that must be discussed with a view to changing the perspective on the Maintenance Culture we have.
Inventors, landlords and occupiers spend huge sums of money on properties. They seem to lack further interest in ensuring their value, quality and looks are kept intact.
A man was once heard discussing the cost of owning and operating a car with a friend. He dropped a bombshell when he said that his friend does not have to maintain the car since he bought a very good “Tokunbo” car. If people can have such an attitude towards a high maintenance item such as a car, what would be their attitude towards a property which has greater longevity? Surely to think that a property and its facilities will last another 365 days without complete failure is folly. Having a well maintained property is essential to their property remaining competitive and attractive in the property market concluded our Research Fellow.
When a person or group has a maintenance culture they would have the attitude to maintain, preserve and protect public facilities. For this reason I call on the government to educate the masses on Maintenance Culture. Maintenance Culture is necessary for development and as such it should be sunk down to every individual in our communities.
The lessons of Maintenance Culture were expected to have been imbibed by every Nigerian before vision 2020. Alas! This important process could not be embraced hence lack of maintenance culture will remain the bane of our National Development.
A classical application of the principles of Maintenance Culture was explained in one of the Dailies in 2008 some years after my retirement from the National Airline. It states as follows: “Aviation Industry encounters great problems when it comes to carrying out major checks on the aircraft”. The write-up explained further: “Acquiring a new aircraft is not a relief to the aviation industry as good maintenance of the existing aircraft”. Meaning that a well maintained ageing aircraft will meet Airworthiness Requirements any day whereas a poorly maintained new aircraft may not be fit to fly because it may not meet airworthiness requirements.
I consider the above as the observations of an informed professional on MAINTENANCE CULTURE in the aviation field.
From Civil and Environmental Research comes this statement on Maintenance Culture.: Among the causes of poor Maintenance Culture are, Corruption, Poor Leadership, Attitudinal Problems and Lack of Policy. The attitude of Nigerians towards government property as well as their private properties is worrisome. Nonchalant attitude of individuals towards their health, buildings, cars among others had made them spend huge amounts of money on things that ought to have been prevented or rehabilitated through the act of maintenance program.. Few of our leaders are up to the task whereas majority of them lack maintenance vision required to influence and stimulate proper behavior towards maintaining and sustaining existing facilities as it is a general belief that one cannot give what one does not have.
I have taken the trouble to dwell on the need for Maintenance Culture to be imbibed by the Management Team of the new Oba Israel Adeusi General Hospital in order to ensure that the efforts of the donor organization and the Ondo State Government in providing this much needed facility in Ose Local Government Area yields the desired results.
It is my fervent hope that our governor Arakunrin Akeredolu will not rest on his oars in his efforts and determination to ensure that the lost glory of Ifon is restored as Ifon has been left out of the scheme of things for far too long and we see this government as our hope. These were the views of our late Kabiyesi before his untimely death, the cause of which the governor promised to unravel.
We pray for the fulfillment of the governor’s promise without further delay and the continued siting of more infrastructural development projects in Ifon.