The Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS) has made a proposal for the establishment of the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) as a way to completely overhaul the nation’s construction industry.
NIQS said the board would be comprised of experienced professionals in the construction industry to ensure the implementation of cross-cutting policies within the industry in Nigeria.
The President of NIQS, Obafemi Onashile, made the submission in Abuja during the commissioning of the institute’s five-storey head office building located in Mabushi District, Abuja, on Saturday, as part of activities marking the institute’s 50th anniversary.
Onashile said the construction industry in Nigeria faced challenges ranging from building collapse, injuries and deaths on construction sites, non-payment of contractors and consultants, housing deficit, high cost of construction, shortage of artisans, among others, which resulted in stunted growth of the Industry.
He also noted that unclear delineation of professional functions among construction professions within the government was making massive corruption and incompetence to persist on projects with attendant negative consequences on the economy.
The NIQS president lamented the current practice in the construction industry where designers were also cost advisers, insisting that such a practice was not transparent and should be stopped if the nation truly wished to move forward.
He said quantity surveyors should be mandated and allowed to undertake cost management of projects of all forms on behalf of government (be they refineries, roads and bridges, marine and harbour works, airport runways and terminal buildings), while engineers should be compelled to focus and deliver on designs and implementation of projects.
The NIQS boss also said procurement and construction standards were being bastardised and were out of tune with international global standards and best practices.
Shedding light on the journey so far, Onashile said NIQS recently signed reciprocity agreement with the Canadian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (CIQS) as part of strategic reforms that the institute was undergoing.
He further said with the endorsement by international quantity survey institutions across the globe, NIQS was now at par with global standards and its members were now acceptable for employment anywhere in the world.
The Chairman of the occasion, Gen. TY Danjuma (Rtd), while unveiling the NIQS head office building, applauded the institute for promoting professionalism in the construction industry.
Activities that took place during the celebration included the presentation of the NIQS history book, as well as an anniversary dinner and awards ceremony.