Don Advocates Sustainable Maintenance Culture in Tertiary Institutions

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The Director, Equipment Maintenance and Development Centre (EMDC), University of Calabar, Prof. Ebigwai Joseph has advocated for a sustainable maintenance culture in the country’s tertiary Institutions with the view of making existing equipment in the University constantly functional.

Prof. Ebigwai stated this recently during an official visit to some of the Faculties and Departments in the University geared towards ascertaining the conditions of the facilities and equipment in Faculties, Departments and Units within the University.

He said Maintenance is all about keeping equipment and assets in use for longer, stressing that, regular maintenance is essential to keep equipment, machines and the work environment safe and reliable.

He noted that lack of maintenance or inadequate maintenance can lead to dangerous situations, accidents and health problems.

The university Don said thorough adherence to the well-defined and developed maintenance culture and strategy in the University which is being championed by the EMDC Directorate will help staff and students in their respective Departments and Units keep an eye on the University’s equipment to avoid their breakdown or malfunction.

According to him, when maintenance culture is sustained, the system preserves its facilities and keeps its assets in utmost working condition in order to minimize downtime and disruption to services for an effective and fruitful outcome.

The versatile Professor said the Directorate has developed and defined a maintenance culture strategy and is communicating it to Departments and Units on how best to achieve continuous maintenance in all Faculties and Departments in the University.

Bemoaning the poor maintenance culture in the country, he noted that lackadaisical attitude of some staff in the University with regards to equipment maintenance has negatively affected infrastructural development which is critical and essential to the Institution’s development.

Ebigwai said the University would get itself off the hook and stop the wastage of resources if existing equipment and other facilities in the University are constantly maintained.

He said “Poor maintenance culture has drawn the University a thousand steps backward and one of the strides/ actions that could salvage the institution from the total mess of infrastructural decay is maintenance”.

While identifying attitudinal problem as one of the major causes of the menace, he however, recommended prompt reporting of faults or breakdown of any equipment to the directorate for immediate Inspection testing, fault detection, repairs, adjustment, replacement of parts, or servicing, lubrication and cleaning depending on the fault detected.

The Erudite Professor further underlined the need for all hands to be on deck in order to foster a better institution, particularly, as the issue of maintenance is beyond the individual, adding that, the maintenance of equipment can improve the health and enhance the safety of staff and students and reduce the costs associated with downtime and breakdowns.

This is even as he thanked the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Florence Obi for her immense support, particularly, for reinventing and repackaging the Equipment Maintenance and Development Centre (EMDC) in the University.

He explained that, in a bid to ensure a thorough maintenance culture in the University, the Centre has so far Created an Equipment Database web page for the university, as well as, Conducted a digitized Equipment Inventory for the university.

He said the centre has also successfully conducted a 3-Day Training and Capacity Building Workshop for ninety two (92) Technologists in the university on Microscopes and UV/VIS Spectrophotometers, as well as, certified ninety two (92) Technologists who were successfully trained in Equipment Troubleshooting and Repairs.

Hear him,”In our quest to ensure maintenance culture in the University, we have successfully repaired about 65 Microscopes and 4 UV/VIS using the staff we trained.”

“In doing this, we have saved the University about Six million and four hundred thousand naira (N6.4m) at the current exchange rate.”

He emphasized that the EMDC has Drawn up a proposal (currently before the Committee of Deans) for the mounting of thirteen (13) Certification Programmes On specific equipment installation, troubleshooting and repairs.

This he said, will help ensure usage and maintenance of the University equipment.