By Chris Ochayi
ABUJA: President, Quantity Surveyors Registration board of Nigeria, QSRBN, Wednesday, raised the alarm over high rate of corruption in the construction sector, while advising the government to involve professionals at the conception of any project.
President, Quantity Surveyors Registration board of Nigeria, QSRBN, Alhaji Murtala Aliyu, disclosed this while speaking during the 2020 Annual Assembly of Registered Quantity Surveyors and induction of newly registered members in Abuja.
Aliyu noted that the construction industry was responsible for most corruptions in the country, a situation that causes over 5,000 projects to be abandoned.
He said at the Annual Assembly with theme, “Technology, Innovations, opportunities and challenges for the construction entrepreneur,” that when corruption template is considered in the country, the construction industry takes a large chunk.
While calling on the on government to use its expertise to curb the trend, Aliyu added, “You see that most of the areas where huge amounts of money is spent is on huge infrastructure projects. We call on government to ensure probity and value for money.
“There are contracts signed with conditions and most of the contracts have benchmarks.
The current arrangement is that you cannot escalate projects beyond certain percentage. It used to be 15 per cent. But I learnt that it has been reduced even below 15 per cent.
“So, any contract that is beyond the boundaries of 15 per cent you have to go back to Federal Executive Council, FEC, for another assessment” he said, adding that when projects are well-prepared and well-costed, they should be able to be achieved with the appropriate cost.
“To achieve it at the appropriate cost means that we must use the appropriate expertise for each stage of the work.”
He stated the need to involve quantity surveyors at the budgeting stage of the project, saying that projects in Nigeria costs higher than the ones in the developing countries.
According to him, “We have been getting in touch with government to tell them that from the budgeting stage, we need to use quantity surveyors to give you the benchmarks and to plan the budget and make provision for the budget.
“Arbitrarily when we budget, somebody somewhere will have to cut the budget by half. Experts must be involved at the budgeting stage. But this arrangement in budgeting where you make small provision will not move the project an inch. That is why we have uncompleted projects.
“I cannot tell you an exact range of figures because projects in Nigeria cost much higher than what it is in the development world or Africa” he said, adding that the number of abandoned projects in Nigeria runs into thousands.”