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NIQS advocates adoption of construction best contracts’ practices

Nigerian Institute of Quantity surveyors (NIQS) last week called for the adoption of best practices in the construction industry, especially the Joint Contract Tribunal (JCT).

The adoption of the procedure, they said would bring about remarkable development in construction industry, as the document is used in the vast majority of construction contracts abroad – both building and civil engineering works.

At a two-day seminar at organized by the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS) in Lagos, on the theme: ‘Contract Procurement and Due Process in Nigeria,’ NIQS President, Mr. Obafemi Onashile, urged professionals and operatives in construction industry to adopt it.

The JCT produces standard forms of contract for construction, guidance notes and other standard documentation for use in the construction industry. From its establishment in 1931, JCT has expanded the number of contributing organisations. The intention of the JCT is that the contracts generated by them represent a balanced allocation of risk between the parties. Onashile said that the workshop was an intensive training programme focused on both building and engineering forms of contract used in the construction industry.

According to him, the Nigerian construction industry has been operating with the JCT 1963, which was obsolete, saying that there was need to upgrade to JCT 2011 of the international standard.

He said that for the past few decades, construction industry has not been developing due to obsolescence of the methods and procedures of operation in the industry. His words: “Nigeria must not be left behind. To benchmark our industry to the international standard, the construction industry must upgrade to the JCT 2011 of the world best practice.”

In his keynote address, President, Common Wealth Association of Surveying and Land Economy (CASLE), Mr. Segun Ajanlekoko, said that in recent years, the role of the conditions of contract in a construction project has undergone a radical change.

“The increase in the size and complexity of projects coupled with the increasing demand from clients and employers that projects should finish on time and within budget have increased the pressures for improved management technique on construction projects as well as understanding the underlying legal documentation. He said one of the consequences and fallout of the movement towards improving efficiency and cost reduction has been the demand for the increasing use of the conditions of contract as a manual of good practice.

Also, Director, Blue Sky ADR Limited, United Kingdom, Mr. Peter Barnes, said that the 1963 RIBA / JCT form is regularly used in Nigeria.Barnes said that the purpose of standard form contracts (such as the JCT contracts) is so that rather than produce an entirely new ad-hoc contract for each project, a ‘standard form contract’ with terms that the parties and participants are familiar with, may be used.

Under the JCT contracts, he stated that “there are express provisions for the appointment by the employer of a quantity surveyor. A QS’s role is to extract quantities from the drawings and prepare bills of quantities, carry out measurements, value variations and produce valuations of work completed by the contractor.”

Credit: Guardian

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