Maintenance PRACTICES IN Ghanaian PUBLIC Institutions The Case of Ghana Cocobod, Kumasi

Maintenance PRACTICES IN Ghanaian PUBLIC Institutions
The Case of Ghana Cocobod, Kumasi



Deterioration in buildings and other fixed equipment is inescapable; for this reason periodic attention is required to keep them in good state so that they can continue to perform their required functions and also sustain the level of utility and value derived from them. This attention may be required at varying intervals depending on the nature of the property and includes such works as repainting, replacement of slates and tiles, cleaning of drains and rain water disposal systems. The deterioration of buildings hampers their ability to effectively perform their required functions and accordingly it is important to ensure proper maintenance to circumvent or curb deterioration.
Public sector buildings serve as a considerable source of hoards of public funds and therefore the importance of preserving them in a way that would make their benefits felt over a very long time cannot be overstated. Due to the neglect of maintenance of buildings in the country a lot of public and private sector buildings are in very dreadful conditions. It is best to avoid the need for maintenance in so far as it is practicable. Maintenance is usually seen as a nuisance and is frequently overlooked; consequently a small maintenance job becomes eventually a major item of repair. It is often expensive to carry out major maintenance works and money so spent shows no prolific returns.
In consideration of the above situation which is plaguing the nation’s development, this study has been designed to examine the current condition of public buildings with particular reference to the estates of Ghana Cocoa Board (Cocobod). The study intends to identify the underlying principal causes of poor maintenance in public institutions, analyse the maintenance policies in place make relevant recommendations towards identifying means of enhancing the level of maintenance in our public institutions. Our investigation is focused on the buildings and other fixed assets of the Ghana Cocoa Board in the Kumasi metropolis which happens to be the headquarters for the Ashanti regional Division. The study involved visits and inspection of the buildings and other fixed equipment of the institution, discussions with personnel responsible for maintenance and other occupants of the building and examination of the maintenance policy of the institution.
We have presented the report in THREE parts. The first part introduces the general report, contains the problem statement, objectives of the research, scope of the work, research methodology and problems encountered in the study. The second part presents a review of related literature on maintenance of buildings and would provide a yardstick for evaluating and assessing the maintenance practices identified. The final part present the actual findings of the research work with recommendations and conclusion.

The current condition of the state’s buildings and the backlog of deferred maintenance is, in part, a product of the poor maintenance practices used by state departments and institutions. Buildings are assets whose life may span over several decades; in fact, records have indicated that some buildings have existed for over centuries. The lifespan of a building to a large extent depends on the level of maintenance it is subjected to. Much of maintenance work will be inevitable, as it is in the nature of materials to deteriorate over time with usage and exposure to the elements of climate. However, the rate at which the deterioration of materials and components takes place may, to some degree, be controlled by prudent decisions being made during the design stage of the procurement process. All things being equal, a properly maintained building will last longer than a scantily maintained building.

Physical development is one of the sectors that guzzle the greater part of governments’ revenue. It is therefore imperative that these developments which include public buildings are well maintained so that they can serve adequately the functions which they were put up for.
Regardless of the heavy investment in physical infrastructure including public buildings, most public institutions allow their buildings to care for themselves without any sustainable maintenance plan to retain them. Maintenance should be a part of the usual cost of operating a building, according to experts, but it is more likely to be short-changed relative to other operating costs and there is a persistent problem of underfunding of maintenance and repair. Public agency managers and elected officials, faced with the constant challenge of balancing competing public priorities and limited fiscal resources, often find it stress-free to neglect the maintenance and repair of public buildings.
The neglect of maintenance has a cumulative effect with rapidly increasing deterioration of the fabric and finishes of a building accompanied by harmful effects on the occupants and contents of the building. Some residential and office buildings of public institutions have not seen any considerable maintenance since they were constructed and this has resulted in most of them suffering from dilapidation with others being completely abandoned. The lack of maintenance of public buildings often leads to reduced lifespan of the buildings and invariably affects the uses of these buildings. The occupants are mostly driven by the way of thinking that public property is nobody’s property and therefore make no conscious effort to maintain them. Lack of maintenance of buildings has become a national tormentor and is a serious hindrance to the development of the nation.
With these menace bedevilling the country, we consider it worthwhile to undertake this project to study what the situation really is on the ground so far as our public institutions are concerned and make appropriate recommendations to curtail the situation.
Cocobod has been chosen as our case study area because it is one of the public institutions with largest estates comprising all kinds of properties. We therefore believe that we will have a lot to study from there.

The study ultimately aims at examining, analysing and evaluating the maintenance practices in Cocobod and its effects on the conditions of their properties. The specific objectives of the project include to:
I. Identify the estates of Cocobod in Kumasi;
II. Assess the existing condition and state of their buildings;
III. Ascertain the level or state of maintenance of these buildings;
IV. Examine the maintenance policy in operation;
V. Make relevant recommendations towards the adoption of an effective maintenance policy.

In our attempt to get done the objectives set above, we sought answers to the following questions
I. What is the current quantum of estate owned by Cocobod?
II. What is the state of repair/disrepair of their buildings?
III. Do they have a maintenance policy in play and how was it designed?
IV. How can the current state of maintenance of their buildings be improved?

This report is based on primary empirical data collected by the researchers through a combination of several data collection methods. The methodology employed in obtaining our information includes physical observation and inspection of the subject properties, examination of the maintenance policy of the institution and other relevant documents, Interview with the Principal Superintendent of works who is in charge of maintenance of the estates of the institution, and distribution of questionnaires some tenants of the rented portions of the property. The data obtained from our inspection as well as from the interviews and questionnaires were then observed for consistencies and incongruities to come out with our report and recommendations.

The study covers the properties of Cocobod in the Kumasi metropolis. The properties looked at include the office buildings, residential buildings (bungalows), warehouses, plant and equipment and furniture and fittings. Much attention was devoted to the main office building (the regional headquarters). This is a four storey building of offices, portions of which have been let out to other companies and businesses like insurance companies, banks, etc. We considered in detail how this multi-tenant building is managed and maintained. We also had inspections of few of their bungalows and warehouses.

Due to time factor we couldn’t visit all the buildings of the institution which range from Office buildings through Residential buildings (bungalows), Warehouses and Guest houses. Our time and resources only permitted us to have a detail study of the maintenance of the main regional office building. There was also difficulty in meeting the one in charge of maintenance (the regional superintendent of works) since he was for most of the time out of the city and appeared to have a very busy schedule. Finally there was difficulty financing the project. Frequent visits to town and not meeting the people caused the cost of the project to soar. We however strived to circumvent these problems and guarantee that the reliability of the content of this work is unaffected.

1.1. Introduction
1.2. Problem Statement
1.3. Objectives of the study
1.4. Research Questions
1.5. Research Methodology
1.6. Scope of the Work
1.7. Limitations

2.1. The Concept of Maintenance
2.2. Components of Maintenance
2.3. Classification of maintenance
2.4. Aims of Maintenance
2.5. Factors Affecting the Decision to Carry Out Maintenance
2.6. Importance of preventive Maintenance
2.7. How to Design a Preventive Maintenance Program
2.8. Maintenance Policy
2.9. The Maintenance Department
2.10. The Position of the Maintenance Department in an Organisation
2.11. Functions of the Maintenance Department
2.12. Causes of Poor maintenance

3.1. Background of Cocobod
3.2. The Maintenance Department of Cocobod
3.3. Maintenance Policy of Cocobod
3.4. Classification of Maintenance Activities
3.5. Funding of Maintenance
3.6. Maintenance of Furniture and Equipment
3.7. Maintenance of Lifts
3.8. Maintenance of Warehouses
3.9. Residential Properties (Staff Bungalows)
3.10. The regional office building
3.11. General State of the Building
3.12. Presentation and Analysis of Data
3.13. Maintenance Problems identified
3.14. Recommendations
3.15. Conclusion



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