The Quantity Surveyors Registration Board of Nigeria, QSRBN, has said that there is urgent need to develop templates for determining costs of building projects in the country if the implementation of the 2016 budget is to be felt in the construction industry.
President of QSRBN, Mallam Husaini Dikko, who disclosed this at the 2016 National Project Cost Reduction Summit in Abuja, said the templates if developed, will determine the costs of constructing roads/highway, bridges, railways, dams and other civil engineering projects in Nigeria.
According to Mallam Dikko, “The absence of these templates often places project costs at large and subject to the whims and caprices of administrators and politicians who see it as a loophole to siphon public funds into private pockets. A costing template will provide the tool for benchmarking costs of all types of construction projects across the country. This is a major objective of the national project cost reduction summit”.
He noted that the concern expressed by Nigerians about the unusually high cost of construction projects in Nigeria compared to other developing countries of similar bracket and even developed countries informed the board’s decision to convoke a summit to address the disturbing trend, pointing out that the maiden edition was held in 2012 and it was decided at that summit that the national project cost reduction summit should be an annual event. “That a project is costly in itself is not a crime because if the inputs in the form of materials, labour, specifications and technology are of the highest standard and complexity, the project will not come cheap. The idea is that given all the indices and factors that influence prices and cost, construction projects should not cost more than they should cost. It becomes worrisome when substandard works are procured at outrageously high cost. “Even a
“That a project is costly in itself is not a crime because if the inputs in the form of materials, labour, specifications and technology are of the highest standard and complexity, the project will not come cheap. The idea is that given all the indices and factors that influence prices and cost, construction projects should not cost more than they should cost. It becomes worrisome when substandard works are procured at outrageously high cost.
“Even a high-quality project should not cost more than it should. The high cost of construction arising from inflation of prices/costs, contract padding and other corrupt devices is the major cause of poverty and underdevelopment in Nigeria. The summit is designed to find a solution to the irritant challenge posed by corrupt practices and other ignoble tendencies by participants in the construction project delivery in Nigeria”, Mallam Dikko noted.
He said the theme of the 2-Day summit which is “Good Governance, Value-for-Money and Sustainable National Development” was carefully chosen to underscore the strong nexus between good governance, value for money, economic growth and development.
“Good governance is the common denominator that characterizes the affairs of all developed economies in the world today. The World Bank has defined Good Governance as “the manner in which power is exercised in the management of a country’s economic and social resources for development,” he said.
He recalled that while “Speaking at the Anti-Corruption Day, 2013, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon declared that to achieve an equitable, inclusive and more prosperous future for all, we must foster a culture of integrity, transparency, accountability and good governance”.
According to him, good governance said does not mean the rigid observance of a set of rules and procedures and their interpretation in a literal manner, but it is rather a culture and a style of governing the relations between different stakeholders in a climate of transparency, the rule of law and ethical behaviour.
“Good governance will entail strengthening the institutions that make participatory democracy and rule of law to flourish. It must promote a culture of transparency, responsiveness, fairness, equity, accountability, effectiveness and efficiency. Good governance is driven by good leadership and strong institutions that define the strategic vision of the good leaders.
“This means that for good governance to thrive there must be strong institutions and good leaders. Strong leaders and weak institutions cannot deliver good governance. The role of the quantity surveyor in the promotion of good governance is important because as the expert who is concerned with financial probity and the pursuit of value for money in the conceptualization, planning and execution of infrastructure development projects in the national economy, good governance is an underlining feature of the quantity surveying body of knowledge.
“Therefore, good governance is a major tool in the ongoing war against corruption and quantity surveyors should be enlisted to play a central role in the anti-corruption crusade because it is their professional calling.”