NIQS President Charts Roadmap For Construction Industry

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The President of the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS), QS Obafemi Oluwole Onashile has called for the need to urgently reform the Nigerian construction industry, stressing that there is need for the growth of the sector, particularly for the overall growth of the economy.

Onashile, who made the call in an exclusive interview with select journalists in Lagos, said given the fact that the Construction is a very diverse industry that includes mining, quarrying and forestry to the construction of buildings and infrastructure, the manufacturing and supply of products as well as maintenance, operation and disposal, that there is need to reform it.

He explained that the industry services cut across commercial and social, residential and infrastructure, adding that construction activities are high cost, high risk, long-term activities and best used to control the economy, saying that its performance is a good indicator of the health of the economy.

He noted that the sector is the most prominent industry after Agriculture, and that it engages at least 5% of the working force and about 2% of the Nation’s population, stressing that its products are the backbone of development of Nations.

He also explained that products from the sector are classified into two broad categories, which are housing and Infrastructure; with infrastructure consisting of Power, Roads, ports, Borders, Railway, Dams and water controls, and asserted that its products bring comfort for mankind.

Onashile argued that despite being important and strategic to the economy, it is an industry that is also fraught with various ills and inefficiencies.

He said the ills include lack of cohesion as it is fragmented, lacks progressive direction since it works at cross-purposes, and that it is inherent with adversarial relationships. 

He said other militating factors in the industry include its very wasteful nature as it is replete with too many abandoned constructions.

He also pointed out that factors militating against the industry are domination by one or two disciplines, therefore engendering rigidness, and replete with players in the sector who are not ready to innovate, and often exhibit selfishness and lack of consideration.

He noted that exploitative tendencies still prevail in the industry.

He posited that the entire limitations put together manifest into, corruption, lack of progress, discouragement, mobility of brilliant minds to other sectors and countries, non- development of the nation, among other hindering factors. .

He said: “urbanisation which translates to housing deficiency, degradation of urban environment and over stretched infrastructure have remained the challenges facing the industry.

“Other challenges pointed out are the high construction costs, lack of jobs as governments are not building enough as well as non-payment of contractors and consultants”.

“Others are scarcity of skilled labour in the sector as well as lack of recognised and friendly skills acquisition and training programme”, he said.

  Onashile specifically said: “there are also the prevalence of gradual but persistent lowering of quality of construction materials,  high rate of injuries and deaths on construction sites as well as lack of consensual industry crafted policies and roadmaps for Industry growth”.

He added that there is an urgent need for the creation of purpose-fit juridical systems for the Industry as well as the creation of Construction Courts in the Judiciary Systems.

He, no doubt, offered some panaceas that cut across the sector as:  “urgent formation of the construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) or Construction Industry Development Council (CIDC) and increase in Supply of Construction Products”.

While urging the three tiers of governments, the federal, states and local governments to be more active in social housing, particularly for the civil service workers as well as for others in public service, he urged the government to embark on strategic infrastructure development and expansion that will boost the GDP.

He also called for adoption of modern procurement systems, procedures and processes, to run the industry more efficiently, saying that apart from the traditional procurement system, the adoption of other formal procurement systems such as Design and Build Systems, Construction Management Systems, Project Management Systems.

Onashile , however, called for the use of up- to-date procurement documentation and as well as digital technology in procurement as well as the provision of urgent formation of the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) or Construction Industry Training Council (CITC).

The post NIQS President Charts Roadmap For Construction Industry appeared first on Independent Newspapers Nigeria.

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