The construction industry has become a key contributor to the country’s economic recovery since the meltdown in 2016. The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) recently released Gross Domestic Product (GDP) figures for the second quarter of 2018 indicating that for the first time since the country’s exit from recession in 2017, economic growth was driven by the non-oil sector.
According to the report, the construction sector grew by 7.66% in Q2 2018 from -1.54% in Q1 2018 and 4.14% in Q4 2017. Although these figures hint at an improving industry, the Nigerian Construction industry still has a long way to go.
Mr. Olayinka Omotosho, a Chartered Surveyor and Chairman, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) asserted that there are certain processes bypassed in the Nigerian construction industry that retard its growth. He said “although every stage of building construction must be approved by the state’s physical urban planning offices, and duly monitored by responsible building control authorities. Some developers embark on building projects without first obtaining the necessary building approvals and certification from the state government.I urge authorities in charge of granting building approvals to be more proactive in discharging their duties and refrain from compromising on standards.”
Studies have shown that most incidences of building collapse are caused by human error and poor construction supervision which can be avoided if the right maintenance culture is adopted. If players in the construction industry make use of the right materials during construction;organize periodic testing of building materials; employ the right caliber of professionals and artisans in the design and construction of buildings; ensure that designs are cross checked by the right professionals before construction commences amongst other things, the right maintenance culture will gradually be embedded in the sector.
Emmanuel Adeyemi, QA/QC Coordinator, ITB Nigeria Ltd also emphasizes on the importance of adopting the right maintenance culture. According to him,“Quality work should be the central drive of all construction activities. Construction companies should continuously aspire to provide quality solutions that meet up the requirements and expectations of their clients. It is for this reason that ITB Nigeria Ltd has put a Quality Management System (QMS) in place. This system will provide continuous improvement, sustainable development and excellent service to clients in an efficient and effective way.”
Maintenance culture should be given priority in the construction industry and its practice should be highly encouraged, since the installation as well as maintenance of existing facilities is a key indication of how developed a nation is. The right maintenance culture not only saves lives, finance and property, it also increases the likelihood of foreign investments, boosts the nation’s Gross Domestic Product and creates room for more projects to spring up.