In Nigeria, construction companies are often faced with challenges that inhibit them from efficiently accomplishing their tasks. Even when they do accomplish these tasks and construct the structures intended, there is the problem of low quality hence, demolition of the structures and/or abandonment of projects without completion. And, when these infrastructures are left incomplete, they occupy space in communities and cumulatively, act as anti- developmental forces for such affected community. It is no exaggeration to say that Nigeria’s set back in development can be attributed to these failures that result from challenges encountered by construction companies.
“What are these challenges?” you’d ask.
- Poor Implementation of Plans
At the planning stage of construction projects, the government and the construction team establishes plans of what should be built and where/how these projects should be positioned/located. It is therefore expected that the plan be followed during the implementation stage. However, deviations from the blue print occur which cause so much friction in the implementation process. Usually, these variations which naturally results in the need for additional resource might not be achievable alone or in collaboration with the existing plan because of lack of necessary resource to be put into use. Poor implementation and plan restructuring in the construction industry has led to a series of problems in the past and are still causing more.
This is a challenge that can be done away with if the personnel involved in the managing of construction projects as well as the contractors are highly qualified and they put in necessary efforts during project planning stage by involving all the necessary stakeholders in the process. This is important from determining of objectives to identification of resources needed.
- Inadequate Funding
Construction usually involves huge capital. Equipment used often cost millions of naira and contractors are continually faced with issues of finance which results in pressure during construction projects. The contractor has to invest on plant which is expensive in the case of civil engineering jobs, and requires cash for payment of workers’ salaries, purchase of materials, etc. In the society also, majority of clients don’t mobilize budding contractors for fear of losing their money or becoming victims of abandoned projects.
If the government adequately provides funding for construction projects and create an avenue for supporting budding contractors either by involving them in collaboration with established contractors or funding basic projects allocated to them, construction projects in Nigeria would experience less set back, the industry will expand and consequently, lead the nation further in development.
- Poor Management and Quality Control
Nigeria’s construction industry is faced with the challenge of poor management and quality control. This is the overall challenge that sets back construction projects. Projects embarked upon are often poorly executed due to inefficiency on the part of the contractor who wants to make too much profit at the expense of quality and inadequate management practices of project funds by government officials involved in the monitoring and managing of construction projects. The management put in charge of construction projects, especially when local contractors are involved, is usually poor. The management rarely understands how to treat the workers or plan the projects well. They create so much friction and cause inexplicable lapses which lead to poor jobs.
When management is constituted by people who only got the job because of their political, tribal or family affiliations, it is expected that a majority of those in charge are simple mediocre managers who knows next to nothing about construction, have no idea of how to run the site and consequently produce the best results.
For an improved construction industry in Nigeria, good management practice is paramount. Proper changes should be made to improve the sector because, management is sole to growth and development.