In this interview with Donathus Mesoji, the Founder and CEO of DonFix Plumbing Services lament on the dearth of professional plumbers in Nigeria and builders penchant for patronizing quacks in the industry. He also maintained that it is nice to have a plumbing plan for huge projects and his relationship with architectural firms . Enterprise Times News captures this.
DonFix Plumbing Services is an indigenous company situated in Nigeria; can we know the various services that you offer?
We design, plumbing plan, as a firm, we have gone ahead to help our clients to purchase and choose the appropriateness and quality materials suitable for them.We also remodel and carry out new installation, plumbing works.We also carry out inspection of plumbing works on building project.We have consulted for many organisations in this regard. We ensure that their plumbing works are of international standards. You know, today, modern plumbing is the conduit and they are either buried in the walls or underground and this requires a specialised skill set. This is where we come in, we proffer advice, consultation and even installation and purchase
One sore point in Nigeria building space, especially the plumbing sector, is the lack of qualified manpower and skills. As it stands today, a lot of builders and architects don’t have confidence in Nigerian plumbing firms like yours, they prefer bringing in experts from other countries like Togo, Benin republic and others. What is your take on this?
It is a very disheartening situation we have unfortunately found ourselves in Nigeria. Plumbing is an integral part of every construction building as well as water is an essential commodity for a living. Plumbing is scientific and systematic, when a process is not properly executed, there will be challenges. That is why we do a lot of measurements, calculations and also test the integrity of plumbing materials in order to achieve good and accurate result. Plumbing works are more than having the knowledge of joining two pipes together and fixing the fixtures. It requires a lot of knowledge, skills, strength and patience. All these are not cheap.Some clients prefer to go for the cheap ones ignoring professionalism and integrity. Among all we have good plumbers here in Nigeria and Donfix Plumbing Services is one of them.
Can we know the various projects you have handled in your capacity as a plumbing firm?
Mostly, we work in collaboration with the site managers, Supervisors, Contractors and the builders and people also call us for repairs. The following are some of the projects we have handled:-
- French drainage system at Lekki – DOTT-IT Properties
- Remodeling of toilets, bathrooms, kitchens and drainage systems in some of the Adeleye’s properties in Lagos.
- Installation of public squat pans toilet in Schools – MDGS/C.G.S Project 2015 Ekiti South West Local Government.
- Installation of public toilets and bathrooms – Four Square Church Camp Hostel – Ajebo.
Most houses in the country do not use plumbing plan as it applies to other countries. How can this be remedied?
As for us at Donfix Plumbing Services, we don’t start any major plumbing work without requesting for the plumbing plan or building plan of the property because this will aid accessing conduit pipes, electrical wires and limit the amount of breaking of walls.
From our own part, we are planning on sketching out the plumbing plan for our clients after we are done with the job be it repairs or new installations indicating position of pipes, joints, valves, fixtures and appliances.
Do you draw plumbing plans for clients or you work hand in hand with architects?
Mostly we work hand in hand with architects, but if the client want us to draw plumbing plans, why not ? It all depends on what the client wants. Some clients would want us to work in tandem with their building engineers ad architects from the time of inception of the project to the time of completion. While others would want us to work independently. It all depends on the client. But, one thing is that we do give the best professional advise and this has separated us from the roadside plumbers.
Quackery and lack of professionalism is one thing that is killing your sector, how can this be tackled?
I think we need to have an effective regulatory body with the support of the government as it is in abroad which every genuine plumbing firm will be part of and registered. We will get there someday. Mind you, quackery isn’t only found in plumbing, it is common in most professions and we must understand that people patronize these quacks because they offer lower cost of service and we not that cheap things aren’t cheap in the long run. So , I will advise that most clients should look out for professionalism .
What are the few challenges that you are facing in Nigeria as a plumbing firm?
- Quackery and lack of professionalism: One thing some clients will tell you is that “if you don’t do it, I will get someone else”. And the quacks are ready to do it way lower than what you quoted for.
- Plumbing Materials: At times, it could be difficult identifying the differences between inferiors and original plumbing materials.
- Plumbing Course: I don’t know if there is a course like plumbing in our tertiary institutions and technical schools.
What prompted you to open up plumbing firm?
We realized that plumbing systems in Nigeria lack professionalism and integrity, that prompted us to enroll in the Grace Spring Vocational School and further to the Grohe Professional Center by the grace of God to study theory and practical aspect of plumbing in order to provide solutions problems we are facing in the plumbing sector in Nigeria.
What are the challenges that you face running your business as a player in the real estate sector?
In the real Estate Sector, some of the developers are in business, unlike the real owner of the property who would like to live in the building will make sure water pressure and leakage test is properly carried out.Another challenge that we face is that most client do not see the need to engage experts like us. Most people do not do routine maintenance of their plumbing works. They only call us when there is total breakdown,
Finally, what advice do you have for those youths that will want to enter your line of business?
Don’t enter into the plumbing business because of money, if you go into it with that mindset, you will be disappointed. Do go into it with enthusiasm and passion and the sky shall be your limit in Jesus name.
We realized that plumbing systems in Nigeria lack professionalism and integrity, that prompted us to enrol in the Grace Spring Vocational School and further to the Grohe Professional Center by the grace of God to study theory and practical aspect of plumbing in order to provide solutions problems we are facing in the plumbing sector in Nigeria.