Evaluating The Role Of Quantity Surveyors In Sustainable Infrastructures Development
The world over, a vast number of developing countries are trying to achieve sustainable economic growth in every sector and more equitable distribution of the benefits of growth. The United Nations millennium development goals have identified key areas for development which also embrace environmental development. It forms part of its developmental areas aimed at enabling everyone access to good life without neglecting the privileges of the future. As we are facing climate change worldwide, sustainable or “green” building and holistic sustainable construction has been widely discussed on how to implement it on to the development for future buildings.
This study evaluated the roles of Quantity Surveyors (QS) in sustainable infrastructures development in Nigeria. The study adopted survey research design using structured questionnaire survey administered to 50 quantity surveyors in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. Data analyses involved. The study concluded that Quantity Surveyors have vital roles in integrating sustainability to building and other construction project during design and construction process to deliver successful sustainable infrastructures. This implies that QS can facilitate the changes required for sustainable infrastructures due to their specific requirement.
1.1 Background Of The Study
sustainable infrastructure projects can be dated as far back as the 1600s (Grimsey and Lewis, 2004) as stated by Esther, Albert and Stephen (2009) in their research on Perspective on Procuring Public Works Project. They stated further that early types of public infrastructure projects that involved the private sector include the turnpikes built in the UK and the USA, and also the water facilities that the French delivered through the concession approach. It was only until the introduction of Private Finance Initiative during the 1990s in the UK, that the approach became recognized worldwide as an effective way of delivering value for money public infrastructure and services. Public-Private Partnerships are arrangements where the public and private sectors both bring their complementary skills to a project, with varying levels of involvement and responsibility, for the purpose of providing public services or projects Yongjian, Xinbo, Yingying and Shou Qing (2009). Projects management companies constitute an approach to introducing private management into public service by means of a long-term contractual bond between an operator and a public authority. Fundamentally, it secures all or part of the public service, so delegated by private funding and calls upon private sector know-how. UN/ECE FORUM(2000).
The term “public-private partnership” as described by Corina (2006) defines sustainable infrastructure in two folds. First, it relates to the provision of public services or public infrastructure. Second, it necessitates the transfer of risk between partners. Arrangements that do not include these two concepts are not technically “public-private partnerships”. The definition embraced by The Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships, for example further supports this definition as follows: ―A cooperative venture between the public and private sectors, built on the expertise of each partner, which best meets clearly defined public needs through the appropriate allocation of resources, risks and rewards‖. Public-private partnerships span a spectrum of models that progressively engage the expertise or capital of the private sector. According to Njidda (2009)
In view of the current economic realities of global financial meltdown coupled with dwindling oil prices; there are budget constraints at all levels of Government. It is obvious there should be an informed acceptance of this method of meeting the needs of the public. Happily, Nigerian Government particularly at the Federal level has embarked on and has passed the Infrastructural Concession and Regulatory sustainable infrastructures Commission (ICRC) with its board already re- constituted. sustainable infrastructures can be applied in all sectors of any economy. In Lagos state sustainable infrastructures has been successfully applied in Transportation, Waste disposal and Management, Power generation, Road construction, Parks, etc. This is corroborated in a KPMG report by McManus (2009). He reported the success of sustainable infrastructures in the following sector: Rail, Roads, Ports, Airports, Schools, Colleges and Universities, Housing, Libraries, Museums, Parks, Courthouses, Jails/Correctional Facilities, Hospitals, Information Technology, Energy/Renewable, Water/Wastewater. A typical sustainable infrastructures example would be a hospital building financed and constructed by a private developer and then leased to the hospital authority. The private sector developer then acts as the landlord, providing housekeeping and other non medical services, while the hospital itself provide medical services. PFIs are typically run on a fifteen to thirty year contract, with the consortium being paid back in predefined installments, conditional on performance. On expiry of the contract, ownership of the project‘s assets normally reverts back to the public sector, Morodolu(2011).
The choice of infrastructure development was inevitable. First, weak infrastructure is the single most important factor in Nigeria‘s quest for enhanced firm level competitiveness. Second, there is a growing demand for private sector participation in core infrastructure service delivery. Third, the huge and growing resource gap of government (Federal and States) meant that there is an urgent need for alternative funding of investment in the infrastructure sector. Fourth, adoption of suitable sustainable infrastructure Schemes in the Nigerian economy would deliver real value for money if properly managed, based on success stories from other countries which have successfully implemented sustainable projects. Nigerian Economic Summit Group, NESG (2010).
Government realized it no longer had any business in business and that viable partnerships can be developed with the private sector towards developing necessary infrastructure; Such ideas about extra budgetary financing of public infrastructure formed the basis jupon which policy and legal frameworks were subsequently designed to set the rules of engagement between the private and public sectors; These efforts culminated in the passage of the Infrastructure Concessions Regulatory Commission Act2005.
Late President Umaru Musa Yar‘ Adua at the inauguration of ICRC in 2008 stated…..
“Nigeria needs to make massive investments beyond the means available to government in order to close the yawning infrastructure gap. Private Sector capital therefore is the effective recourse for Government. It is our expectation that private participation in our infrastructure development will enhance efficiency, broaden access, and improve quality of service”.
This research is basically on infrastructure development and the relevance of the Quantity Surveyors (QS) in attaining this since the Quantity Surveyor has always been evolved in infrastructure development their relevance in sustainable infrastructure is very pertinent, hence the key role played by the Quantity Surveyors will be revealed by exploring the processes in packaging a sustainable infrastructures project. The risk factor, legal frame work, roles played by public and private sectors, benefits, limitations, processes / stages in sustainable infrastructures and other relevant literature will all be highlighted in the main body of this research.
1.1 Statement Of Problems
Global demand for basic infrastructure services has grown over the years, quickly outstripping the supply capacity of existing assets. Many years of underinvestment and poor maintenance have left Nigeria with a significant infrastructure deficit which is holding back the country‘s development and economic growth. Nigeria needs to make massive investments beyond the means available to government in order to close its yawning infrastructure gap. The Federal Government believes that the private sector can play an important role in providing some of this new investment through sustainable infrastructures
With the advent of sustainable infrastructures procurement system, the hope that our infrastructure will be revived is very high, due to the involvement of private sector. A typical private company would not invest without profiting from it sustainable infrastructures is normally a long time investment which means, it will take time for the investors to recoup. With this in mind the investors will design and execute the project to reduce future maintenance cost since the investor is also expected to carry out planned maintenance on this project because its rate of return of investment will be affected if the project defect is high thereby requiring high cost of maintenance.
It has been noted that the successful application of the cost or project manager’s skills in the sustainable infrastructures environment does benefit from selection of individuals with particular backgrounds.
Typically, PFI projects call for a wide appreciation of commercial and business issues, and therefore it is advantageous for cost and project management organizations to identify individual personnel with a complementary track record or skill set, obtained either through postgraduate academic study or experience of the creation of complex project agreements related to construction. Advisors who can call upon this expertise are therefore well placed to work with public sector clients and their consultants to achieve the objectives of sustainable infrastructures projects, Brooke (2008).
Bothered by their exclusion in the implementation of the due process exercise of the Federal Government, Quantity Surveyors (construction economists) have called for amendment of the Public Procurement Act 2007 to ensure accountability and transparency in the system. The Quantity Surveyors Registration Board of Nigeria (QSRBN) in an official statement said the non-inclusion of the quantity surveying profession in the Act, which it said was deliberate, has cast a slur on the document. In an interview Diko (2012), told journalists that quantity surveyors were eliminated to avoid accountability and transparency, especially on the on-going infrastructural projects. According to him, though the Procurement Act was meant to fight corruption, the biggest areas of leakage have been in the states where governance has been a one man show and that no state had truly reflected the procurement law.
In a communiqué after a 2 Day workshop organized by Quantity Surveying Registration Board of Nigeria (QSRBN), in collaboration with the Nigeria Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS) at the Musa Yar‘Adua Centre, Abuja (2011), it was stressed that there are non-inclusion of Quantity Surveyors in the execution of key construction project in the country. At the end of the workshop it was recommended by the Quantity Surveyors Assembly that qualified Quantity Surveyors should be involved in construction project from inception to completion.
Alufuhai (2012) in an interview stated that Quantity surveyors are deliberately excluded in the scheme of things in the procurement process and stressed that Nigerians should insist that Quantity Surveyors are involved in procurement process. He further stated that, fighting corruption is more about building a system than morality. According to him, a well established and structured system will make corruption and fraud difficult to engage: for example the French and the Danes.
From the foregoing, quantity surveyors despite their training have not fully been involved in construction project which could either be procured via traditional method or sustainable infrastructures. Therefore, the concern of the research paper is to access the relevance and level of involvement of the Quantity of Surveyor in sustainable infrastructures and factors preventing their involvement in this emerging procurement system.
1.2 Research Questions
- What are the roles of the Quantity Surveyor in the concession and implementation of sustainable infrastructures projects?
- What are the levels of the Quantity Surveyors involvement in concession and implementation of sustainable infrastructures projects historically?
- What are the factors militating against the involvement of Quantity Surveyors in sustainable infrastructures projects?
1.3 Aim And Objective Of Study
This study is aim at evaluating the relevance of the Quantity Surveyor in sustainable infrastructure. The following specific objective has been set to facilitate the attainment of the aim of study.
- To assess roles the Quantity Surveyors play in the concession and implementation of sustainable infrastructure projects
- To assess the level of the Quantity Surveyors involvement in concession and implementation of sustainable infrastructure projects historically
- To assess the factors militating against the involvement of Quantity Surveyors in sustainable infrastructure projects
1.4 Justification Of The Study
Quantity Surveying, as a profession offers unique services to construction clients. The uniqueness is evident in the area of financial probity in the execution of construction works. Construction client always aims at completing projects at the estimated time and within budgetary cost limit. These services of evaluating cost-related issues of design and construction have been diligently rendered by Quantity Surveyor to corporate and individual clients at all level.
Majority of the Nigerian are not well informed of the services offered by Quantity Surveyors in Nigeria. This lack of awareness has led to the execution of construction works without due consultation with the Quantity Surveyor, who is well-versed in financial and legal aspects of construction. Hence the consequent exploitation of client at this level by construction workers and subsequent project abandonment. Babalola (2006)
The quantity surveying profession at the national level is― threatened as areas where we are supposed to be at the aim of affairs nationally are gradually being taken by opposition from allied professionals such as Accountants, Economists, Engineer, Architect, Lawyers, etc. This apathy leads to the exclusion of the Quantity Surveyors in the main stream of the procurement Act.
Construction cost managers (or quantity surveyors) and project managers have actually established themselves as key elements within PFI/sustainable infrastructure projects in a number of areas. As well as performing advisory roles for the public sector client bodies, cost and project managers are called upon to assist with the other key parties to a PFI/sustainable infrastructure transaction, namely the bidders (private sector partners) and the financiers. As a profession we (quantity surveyors) have also established ourselves in the role of independent certifier – crucially being involved at the sign- off of the project for occupation or use by the client body.
Spedding (2005) as buttressed by Awodele O.A, Ogunsemi D.R., and Olabode J., (2008) explains that quantity surveying firms will not be limited to providing estimates of capital costs of infrastructure projects but also their life-cycle costs. Such forecasts will requires knowledge of some of the reasons for past failures, the cost of repairs and remedying of defects. Life cycle costing know-how is a grey area in Nigeria, because of poor record keeping cultures.
Just recently November, 2011 at a two-days seminar by NIQS, on―Private Finance Initiative
―As A Veritable Tool For Infrastructure Development in An Emerging Economy‖, it was recommended to the Federal Government to back private sector‘s infrastructure financing initiative. The body said that the private sector is ready to invest in tackling Nigeria‘s infrastructure challenge estimated at around N30 trillion but only if the appropriate environment and incentives are put in place by the government.
The development is coming on the heels of a new report ranking Nigeria as one of the emerging economy, with great prospect in construction development and predicting that the value of construction in emerging countries, including Nigeria, will more than double in the next 11 years according to Global Construction 2020. Specifically, Alufohai (2011) in good will message at a two-day seminar, called on the Federal Government to match words with action on national transformation by pursuing a vigorous policy which backs infrastructure finance through sustainable infrastructures(sustainable infrastructures).
In a report by Adeyemi (2012), Alufohai, (2011) while addressing audience at a seminar organised by the Lagos Branch of the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors on Private finance initiative as a veritable tool for infrastructure development in an emerging economy, said sustainable infrastructure model remains the solution by which the nation can revamp its economy and pursue its dream of becoming a top 20 economy in the world. He urged the Federal, state governments and their agencies to, as a matter of exigency, bring out and process the viewpoints of the private sector which is the engine for sustainable job screation.
The reform has shifted from public sector led to private sector led economy creating opportunities for massive investment from within and outside Nigeria. From Privatisation of state own companies to bank consolidation and due process in the procurement in public sector have all created great opportunities for the Quantity Surveying profession, Jagun ( 2006).
From the foregoing sustainable infrastructures seems to be the preferred procurement method by all tiers of government, so Quantity Surveyors need to position its self in order to tap from this huge opportunities. Also sustainable infrastructures has become national project, the involvement of the QS will bring the profession to limelight nationally and to remain relevant to national policy and plan.
1.5 Scope And Limitation Of Study
The primary focus of this research will be experienced Quantity Surveyors who have been directly or indirectly involved in sustainable infrastructure Projects within the South-west. It will also be limited to building and civil engineering constructions.
Also, limited time and responses from the respondents (data collection) has brought about limitations and restrictions for this research.
Conclusion And Recommendation
From the comprehensive research carried on ―Assessing the Relevance of Quantity Surveyors in sustainable infrastructure in the Nigerian Construction Industry‖ and based on the analysed data on Chapter Four, the following were revealed:
- The Federal Government at the moment is the tier of government that participate most in sustainable infrastructures
- At the moment also Quantity Surveyors participates more in Federal Government sustainable infrastructures Project than any other tier
- Quantity Surveyors participate in National Policies mostly through submission of memorandum and the print media
- Government Policy affects Quantity Surveyors most in participating sustainable infrastructures
- Virtually all the processes of sustainable infrastructures are covered by the Services offered by the Quantity Surveyor
- Most of the services offered by the Quantity Surveyor are relevant to sustainable infrastructures procurement process
- The advantages/benefits sustainable infrastructures out ways the disadvantages
- Competition and Innovation are strong challenges of sustainable infrastructures in Nigeria. Other challenges are:
- Lack of patronage
- Inadequate Quantity Surveyors
- Internal problems within the regulatory bodies
- Lack of Quantity Surveyors in the public sector
- Lack of dynamics in the profession
- For sustainable infrastructural development all tiers of government should embrace sustainable infrastructures form of procurement
- The Quantity Surveyors should go beyond their traditional role and embrace the dynamics in the built environment
- Sustainable infrastructures department should be established in all tiers of government and should be headed by a Quantity Surveyor
- Quantity Surveyors should seek employments (as quantity surveyors) in government establishments
- Quantity Surveyors should be involved in sustainable infrastructures procurement at the very early stage
- Quantity surveying practices should seek for sustainable infrastructures job.
Evaluating The Role Of Quantity Surveyors In Sustainable Infrastructures Development
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