By Chris Ochayi
Determined to curb incidents of over- inflated projects and corrupt practices in award of contracts, the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS) at the weekend said it has embarked on comparative study to prove relationship between the cost of projects in Nigeria and other countries.
The immediate past president of NIQS, Mrs. Mercy Iyortyer, who disclosed this at a news conference at the just- concluded 27th Annual Biennial Conference/General Meeting in Abuja, noted that the findings on the study would soon be made public. The theme of the 2017 Biennial Conference/General Meeting was Developing the economy for sustainable growth; the construction industry as an effective stimulant.
The immediate past NIQS boss who insisted that quantity surveyors have very important role to play in eliminating corruption from award of projects in the country, however, advocated that the government should engage their services in all establishments carrying out huge project awards.
She said: “We can play a big role as quantity surveyors to minimise high cost of projects in Nigeria. We also embarked on comparative study which will show relationship between the cost of projects in Nigeria and other countries. It is still ongoing and by the time we finish, the reports will be made public.
“We have visited the Ministry of Budget and National Planning, we have worked with the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, and the whole essence of these visits, was to highlight the role that quantity surveyors can play as cost managers to provide prudent costing of projects.
“Because we know that will go a long way to fight corruption if quantity surveyors are involved because they will apply prudence to project costing.
And another advantage is that, where they are found wanting, there will always be recourse to the Board and whoever is found wanting will be penalised or sanctioned. So, that control is there and monitoring will also help quantity surveyors carry out proper prudent costing to save the country from over- inflated projects.
“We think that we have gone to those Ministries that undertake large amount of projects and we have volunteered to collaborate with them to ensure prudent costing of projects. We can play a big role as quantity surveyors to minimise high cost of projects in Nigeria,” Iyortyer stated.
Iyortyer whose tenure as first woman to become President of NIQS in its 47 years of existence, came to an end at the weekend, disclosed that the professional body during her tenure, made presentations at the Senate and House of Representatives’ public hearing on a bill for amendment on Public Procurement Act 2007 to include the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors on the Council for Public Procurement.
She also recalled that the NIQS joined the Nigerian Economic Summit Group, NESG, under her leadership, adding, “We participated in last month’s summit and contributed by recommending an enactment of a local content regime in the construction industry.
Iyortyer also called on the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, to provide actual figures of jobs lost to economic recession in the sector.