The immediate past Chairman of the Lagos State chapter of the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors, NIQS, Mr. Olayemi Shonubi has attributed the high cost of procuring civil and heavy engineering projects in Nigeria to the non-utilisation of quantity surveyors who by training are equipped to give value for money on all construction projects. He also blamed the plethora of uncompleted or abandoned projects in the country on the inability of the government and relevant agencies to use the services of construction cost experts.
Shonubi spoke at an interactive session with newsmen as part of activities to mark the 2014 Quantity Surveyors Week organised by the Lagos state chapter of the professional body. He insisted that the principal reason behind the avalanche of abandoned and uncompleted projects is non-utilisation of the services of construction cost experts from the conceptualization through to the execution of such projects.
Shonubi who weekend, handed over to the new chairperson of the chapter, Mrs Adenike Ayanda as the stated that most projects are abandoned due to a mismatch between the available funds and what the consultants have designed, maintained that the use of quantity surveyors in both buildings and heavy/civil engineering projects, would reduce cost overruns that ultimately lead to the abandonment of projects. He explained that it is only in Nigeria that the engineer designs a project and at the same time, does the costing.
According to him, the Bill of Engineering Measurement and Evaluation, BEME, being used by engineers is not internationally recognised by was packaged by engineers to retain their stranglehold on the construction industry. Mr Shonubi explained that what is internationally recognised and accepted is the bill of quantities preserved by quantity surveyors.
To ensure value for money spent on infrastructure projects, he called for the establishment of Directorate of Budget and Economic Planning to be headed by a quantity surveyor in every tier of government. The directorate, he said will be saddled with the planning, monitoring and implementation of all projects, especially capital projects.
Speaking on the high cost of housing delivery in the country particularly in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt, Shonubi attributed it to a plethora of factors which include the high cost of land and the failure of the mortgage system. He noted that most property owners in Surulere (Adeniran Ogunsanya and Randle) bought their houses through the Staff Loans Board which provided mortgage facilities to them. He also decried the absence of basic infrastructure like good roads, noting that if we had good roads and functional railways, people can afford to live in far-flung areas and come from there to work in the city centre.
This item originally appeared on vanguard news