By Vivian Adewoye
“In compliance with Ministerial directives on repair of serviceable old vehicles and machineries the Department of Facilities Maintenance and Management [DFMM] has embarked on a project of bringing new innovations into the system, to facilitate its work. Making use of limited resources to create useful materials that enable it carry out its routine functions”, these were the words of Engr. Niyi Olaloye, Director DFMM.
These innovations include the conversion of metal gully inlet covers to concrete gully in-let covers thereby making the covers unattractive to scavengers [or “Babanbolla”]. Another one is the construction of a lock for street light poles. Most recently, there was the conversion of a truck into a crane.
A 30 year old Streetlight Aerial Platform which had become unserviceable was converted into a crane lorry. According to the DD [Engineering Maintenance] Engr. Abubakar M.G. Isa, “the vehicle was purchased in 1989 for Streetlight maintenance and had to be abandoned for 14 years thereby becoming unserviceable, but the engine and chassis were still strong, so the Department decided to do away with the Boom and replaced it with a crane”.
The revamped 911 truck which was an abandoned vehicle for so long was parked in one of FCTA’s Car Parks, with all its parts damaged, almost rendering it a scrap which was marked for auction. But while the process was on, the Department after thorough brainstorming took advantage of the scrap vehicle as a motivation for the transformation of the truck to a crane
There’s an old expression that says “you don’t need to recreate something that already exists. But in this case the DFMM innovated something new from an existing one. This is technology which was borne out of the need for a Departmental crane rather than the option of renting which had always come with disappointment or delay as the case may be. The hiring of this vehicle used to cost a lot.
Prior to the innovation, the Department always hired cranes during desilting of drainages, clearing of sand and debris that clogged the sand traps during maintenance of the sand traps, to lift knocked down street light poles and transporting them to another place, to enable road users drive freely. Also, the crane is used in moving generators sets and transformers when necessary. As a result of these and other uses, hence the necessity of the repairs which have turned a liability into an asset.
The Department has saved the authorities of over N50 million in buying a new truck as the vehicle is available for use whenever it is needed. Disappointments due to the unavailability of the machine when needed at a set time is no more. Currently, the crane is being used to attend to urgent streetlight problems within the FCC