Experts decry high cost of construction in Nigeria

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By Kingsley Adegboye

CONSTRUCTION experts who gathered in Lagos last week, have decried the excessive cost of construction in the country.  Apart from the high cost of construction, the experts lamented that Nigeria’s construction sector is  characterised by prolonged delay in project delivery and poor quality of construction works.

Gathering under the International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction, CIB, the construction industry stakeholders argued that construction of buildings, roads, dams, airports, seaports, power plants and  stadia can only be made possible if there is an efficient and effective construction industry in Nigeria that is sustainable.

The theme of the two-day conference co-hosted by the University of Lagos, UNILAG Akoka, Yaba and Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh, United Kingdom was Construction in Developing Countries and its Contribution to Sustainable Development. CIB is an association established in 1953 with the objectives of stimulating and facilitating international cooperation and information exchange in building and construction between nations and organisations that engage in technical fields of research especially research institutes.

The Commission is concerned primarily with promoting the development of construction in developing countries. The co-chairman of the conference and Head, Department of Building, UNILAG, Prof. Godwin Idoro explained that the construction industry  has the potentials for generating employment and training opportunities.

“Nigeria has adopted the Vision 20:20:20 in which the country aims at becoming one of the 20 leading economies in the world in year 2020. But the question is, can the construction industry in Nigeria provide the needed enabling environment for achieving the Vision? The answers to these questions are not far-fetched.

“The construction industry in Nigeria is characterised by several vices such as excessive high construction cost, prolong delay in project delivery; poor quality of construction works, incidents of collapsed buildings and civil engineering structures, high level of corruption and poor or, lack of regulation, dominance of fake/inferior construction materials, non patronage of indigenous contractors.

“Others are high dependence on imported construction materials and components; non-involvement of the right professionals or the use of non-professionals in project delivery, use of fake or sub-standard building materials and components, ineffective physical development control regulation, structures and processes.

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