By Jude Njoku
Piqued by the high cost of building and construction projects in Nigeria, the Minister overseeing the Federal Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Musa Mohammed Sada, an architect, has challenged the Quantity Surveyors Registration Board of Nigeria, QSRBN to come up with a blueprint on how costs of projects in Nigeria can be reduced to compare favourably with what obtains in other parts of the world.
The Minister who spoke at the inauguration of the reconstituted 15-member QSRBN Board, described the trend as worrisome and charged the construction cost experts to take urgent steps to reduce the cost construction project in line with what obtains in other best practice jurisdictions of the world.
“The quantity surveying profession is concerned with financial probity and achieving value-for money in the conceptualisation, planning and execution of building and construction projects. Government therefore expects active support from the Board in the areas of good corporate governance and knowledge-driven innovations in the management of available but limited resources at its disposal.
However, one important and worrisome area the Board must critically look into is the high cost of building and construction projects in Nigeria. Available statistics show that costs of infrastructure procurement are too high in Nigeria compared with what are obtainable in the rest of Africa and the world. You must find a lasting solution to this anomaly and the time to act is now,” Arc Sada said.
Continuing, he charged the new board to collaborate with the Ministry and other stakeholders in the building and construction industry to raise the bar of professional excellence in the housing and urban development sector.
“In doing this, you need to check the rot and unethical professional practices in the sector as well as the need to cleanse the system by identifying and removing those found to be bringing dishonour to it,” he added.
The Minister commended the board for its sterling performance in the last three years, adding that most of them were reappointed because they did very well. He further enjoined them to ensure that registered quantity surveyors and practising firms continue to update and upgrade their professional knowledge and skills as global trend demands.
Responding, Mallam Hussaini Adamu Dikko who was reappointed QSRBN President pledged that the new board will continue to pursue excellence so as to make the QSRBN the best quantity surveying regulatory body not only in Africa but also in the world.
“We want to be the very example of a global best practice organisation We shall continue to make professional ethics, competence, integrity and pursuit of value-for-money, probity and accountability the central focus of our regulatory role within the Nigerian economy.
The board will continue with the on-going accreditation/resource inspections of the quantity surveying programmes in all universities and polytechnics that are yet to be visited such that by the end of 2014 all the 16 universities and 39 polytechnics offering quantity surveying would have been visited.
We shall step up the registration and induction of newly registered quantity surveyors to equip them with the necessary certification to offer cost management services to the Nigerian economy,” he said
Furthermore, Dikko said the board shall continue to uphold the ethics, dignity and integrity of the profession and ensure that all registered quantity surveyors operate to the highest ethical standards. “We shall continue to enforce discipline within the rank and file of the profession. This will include taking drastic measure to fight quackery and quacks in the profession,” he said.
Dikko stated that with the assistance and guidance of its consultants,the new QSRBN Board will pursue the implementation of the master plan of the QSRBN as a body corporate. “This is because effectiveness of the QSRBN in discharging its statutory mandate owes largely to the implementation of this master plan.
The master plan contains an organogram with clear cut departments, divisions, branches, sections and units which will drive the organic infrastructure in a systemic harmony to achieve the mandate of the QSRBN as a body corporate,” he said.
Other members of the 15-man board include, Mr. Godson Moneke who was reappointed the Registrar, the Deputy President of the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors NIQS, Mrs Mercy Iyorter, the Institute’s Vice President, Mr Ogunfidodo, Mr Isaac Sobotie and Dr. SIJ Onwusonye.