By Taiwo Ajayi.
The construction sector in Nigeria is facing challenges due to non-compliance to global best practices, according to industry experts.
This was the theme of a recent conference, Big 5 Construct Nigeria 2023, held in Lagos.
Speaking at the conference, Chief Architect at the Federal Ministry of Works & Housing, Patrick Ogunleye, said the industry was going through a lot of challenges because of non-compliance to global standards.
“We do not seem to be following through with standards. We do not seem to be preemptive and innovative enough to meet and match up with global trends,” he said.
“This has led to the use of substandard materials, which has contributed to the incessant collapse of buildings in Nigeria.”
Ogunleye also said the industry had dwindled over time because people were more profit-driven than people-driven.
“This has led to a situation where real estate developers cut corners in order to save costs,” he said.
The President of the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors, Olayemi Shonubi, agreed, saying the construction sector was a reflection of Nigerian society.
“The use of substandard material contributes to the non-compliance with global standards, hence birthing incessant collapse,” he said.
“In addition, government officials give approvals without adequate supervision, although there is another dimension where real estate developers, out of the desire to cut costs, would rather engage inexperienced artisans to supervise or have been involved in constructing high-rise buildings, or complex intricate designs.”
Despite the challenges, the Senior Vice President of DMG Events, Ben Greenish, said the future of the construction sector in Nigeria was bright.
“The construction sector is very non-political, and the need for housing, among others, is very essential,” he said.
“The construction sector is a massive employer of labour and the construction sector is booming, and the need would be present for a long time because of the vast population.”
Greenish said the industry could be improved by increasing government support, promoting innovation, and enforcing standards.
He also said the construction industry needed to be more transparent and accountable.