Construction Project management and Innovation
1.0 BACKGROUND INFORMATION
A major concern of stakeholders (clients, consultants, contractors, e.t.c) in Nigerian construction industry is how to improve service delivery. Mitullah and Wachira (2003) have reported that the development of an efficient construction industry is an objective of policy in most countries.
The construction industry is the pivot of any economy and a belief held in both the developed and developing countries (Nubi. 2003). Adam (1992) emphasized that through its contribution v to National Gross Domestic Product (GDP), labour, employment and gross fixed capital formation (GFCF) construction industry’s importance in the overall economy cannot be underestimated. The industry provides the infrastructure, buildings, roads, bridges, dams, ports and other construction products that are required for economic development.
Construction is a $ 1.7 trillion industry worldwide (Bray, 2005). Global construction is said to have contribution amounting to between 5 and 7 percent of GDP in most countries and accounts for a significant part of global cross capital formation- a little under one third ( Brays, 2005). The United Nations Environment programme (UNEP) has noted that about one-tenth of the global economy is dedicated to construction and operating homes and offices (UNEP, 1996). Mitullah and Wichira (2003) also stated that construction activiuty plays a vital role in the process of economic growth and development, both through its products (infrastructure, buildings) and through the employment created in the process of construction itself.
The construction industry in Nigeria is of paramount importance for employment and economic growth (Ogunsemi and Jagboro, 2006). Presently, the construction industry in Nigeria contributes about 3 percent to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) (Aganga, 2010). This is far below between 5 and 7 percent of GDP in most countries. Therefore, effort gears towards improving the efficiency of the construction industry in Nigeria in terms of improving on construction management techniques is worthwhile and will contribute to better performance of the industry. This study therefore examines the construction management techniques among contracting firms in Ibadan, Oyo State.
A project is made up of a group of interrelated work activities constrained by a specific scope, budget, and schedule to deliver capital assets needed to achieve the strategic goals of an Agency (Idoro and Patunola – Ajayi, 2009). All projects must have a beginning and an end. The management of construction projects requires knowledge of modern management as well as an understanding of the design and construction process. Construction projects have a specific set of objectives and constraints such as a required time frame for completion. While the relevant technology, institutional arrangements or processes will differ, the management of such projects has much in common with the management of similar types of projects in other specialty or technology domains such as aerospace, pharmaceutical and energy developments (Muller and Turner, 2007). Construction Project management is the art of directing and coordinating human and material resources throughout the life of a construction project by using modern construction management techniques to achieve predetermined objectives of scope, cost, time, quality and participation satisfaction (Idoro and Patunola – Ajayi, 2009). By contrast, the general management of business and industrial corporations assumes a broader outlook with greater continuity of operations. Nevertheless, there are sufficient similarities as well as differences between the two so that modern management techniques developed for general management may be adapted for project management. (Arnaboldi et.al, 2004)
A working knowledge of general management and familiarity with the special knowledge domain related to the project are indispensable. Supporting disciplines such as computer science and decision science may also play an important role. In fact, modern management practices and various special knowledge domains have absorbed various techniques or tools which were once identified only with the supporting disciplines. (Arnaboldi et.al, 2004). For example, computer- based information systems and decision support systems are now common-place tools for general management. Similarly, many operations research techniques such as linear programming and network analysis are now widely used in many knowledge or application domains.
Construction project management encompasses a set of objectives which may be accomplished by implementing a series of operations subject to resource constraints. There are potential conflicts between the stated objectives with regard to scope, cost, time and quality, and the constraints imposed on human material and financial resources. (Idoro and Patunola – Ajayi, 2009) These conflicts should be resolved at the onset of a project by making the necessary tradeoffs or creating new alternatives.
1.1 STATEMENT OF RESEARCH PROBLEM
The construction business in Nigeria is a multi-billion dollar industry with hardly any year falling short of expected windfalls befalling successful contractors who bid for construction projects, the last 5 years has witnessed increasing patronage and profit for most construction companies in Nigeria (Business Day Nigeria, 2010). This is especially seen with some publicly quoted companies like Julius Berger Plc. Costain West Africa and G. Cappa Plc which have recorded steadily rising profits with the last two just recovering from years of consistent loses. Many others which are not publicly quoted are rapidly expanding their operations to meet up with greater challenges such as PW limited, Lekki Concession Company and Hitech all of which are handling major infrastructural projects like roads and drainage reconstruction / expansion and Land reclamation ( from the Lagos Lagoon) projects ( Business Day Nigeria, 2010).
Recently a number of development projects by government and private sector companies have created opportunities for construction companies to reap massive revenues. For instance, in recent times in most states of Nigeria infrastructural projects like road reconstruction, housing projects, bridge building, construction of drainage, dams rural electrification, city expansion and beautification projects among others have been on the increase especially in Lagos, Rivers and Akwa Ibom states where massive amounts of money running into tens of billions of dollars have been voted for capital projects. Against this background, with more capital investment in the construction industry in Nigeria because the nation is at the developing stage, there is a need to investigate construction management techniques in use among contracting firms or organization in Ibadan, Oyo State.
1.2 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
From the above information, the research question generated which this study provides answers to are:
i. What are the construction management techniques in the construction industry in Ibadan, Oyo state?
ii. What are the factors affecting the construction management techniques in Ibadan, Oyo state?
iii. What are the impact of construction management techniques on construction cost, time and overall performance in Ibadan, Oyo State?
1.3 AIM AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY AREA
The aim of this study is to evaluate tools/techniques for managing construction project with a view to improving project delivery process in Ibadan, Oyo State. The study specific objectives are to:
a) identify and assess construction management techniques in the construction industry in Ibadan, Oyo State,
b) identify and assess factors affecting the construction management techniques in Oyo state, and
c) examine the impact of construction management techniques on construction cost, time and quality in Ibadan, Oyo state.
1.4 JUSTIFICATION FOR THE STUDY
Nigeria has large expanse of undeveloped land requiring road construction to link many part of the country with other parts and construction of low cost housing to accommodate many of its city dwellers. Also that many state governments are coming to terms with the importance of sticking to master plans and town planning laws means that in coming years many large scale construction projects will be embarked upon. Major infrastructures like good road networks, that will support development are lacking and hence is major cause of inadequate foreign investments (Business Day Nigeria, 2010).
This has prompted governments at both state and federal levels to embark on long term infrastructure projects. State and Federal governments are looking for alternative sources of revenue (non-oil based sources) like taxation which depends largely on available infrastructure. Of recent, crude oil deposits have been found in some parts of Nigeria implying that very soon infrastructural work would begin in surrounding areas. However, this is also dependent on security as the Niger delta is highly notorious for security threats from militants. Therefore, good management techniques will definitely determine the kind of output of the industry and measure the efficiency of the industry in Nigeria with Ibadan in Oyo State as a case study.
1.5 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The management of construction project is a tool for achieving an efficient construction industry. The scope of construction projects ranging from buildings (institutional, commercial, public buildings e.t.c), civil engineering (roads, culverts, bridges e.t.c) among others. The scope of this study is limited to some Construction Industries some Construction Industries in Oyo State in Oyo State.
1.6 LIMITATION OF THE ESSAY
The dissertation covers the Assessment of Construction Management Techniques in the Nigeria Construction Industry taking Ibadan, Oyo State as the case study area.
The essay is however limited to the following:
• Financial constraints
• Time constraints and
• Lack of access to some information needed for the project work.