The Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS) has reiterated its call for the establishment of Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB), which will implement policies within the industry.
NIQS President, Obafemi Onashile who made the call at the commissioning of the Institute’s head office in Mabushi District, Abuja observed that the construction industry in Nigeria faces challenges ranging from building collapse, injuries and death on construction sites, non-payment of contractors and consultants fees, housing deficit, high cost of construction and shortage of artisans.He noted also that unclear delineation of professional functions amongst construction professions within the government is making massive corruption and incompetence to persist on projects with attendant negative consequences on the economy.
Onashile lamented the current practice in the construction industry where designers are also the cost advisers, insisting that such a practice was not transparent and should be stopped in Nigeria, if the nation truly wishes to move forward.He said quantity surveyors should be mandated and allowed to undertake cost management of projects of all forms on behalf of government whilst engineers should be compelled to focus and deliver on designs and implementations of projects.
“In situations, where quantity surveyors are excluded from performing the role of cost advisers/managers, the cost management of such projects, become arbitrarily done by “provisions” being made in the contracts.
“These “provisions” can be over bloated and thus leading to unduly high construction costs or alternatively under-provided and thus leading to project frustrations, poor quality works and discouragement of the parties,” he explained.
The NIQS boss also said that procurements and construction standards were being bastardized and out of tune with international global standards and best practices.He called on the Federal government to establish the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) comprising stakeholders.
Expatiating on the draft bills the institute submitted to President Muhammadu Buhari for presentation as Executive Bills, Onashile said the bill will help curb corruption in the industry giving legal recognition and respect for construction contracts and payment obligations.
Onashile also said there is an urgent need to create a Directorate of Quantity Surveying and Project Costs Management, just like Directorates of Civil Engineering and Housing as well as the establishment of Federal Construction Law Courts to specifically, focus on construction disputes and ensure faster and prompt resolution of construction cases which currently tend to last decades in courts.
Originally published in The Guardian