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Quantity surveyors seek reform in construction sector

NIQS President, QS Obafemi Onashile. PHOTO: TWITTER/NIQS

Poised to advance the built industry, the president of the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS), Mr. Obafemi Onashile has called for urgent reforms and modernisation of practices in the construction sector.

He pushed for a change of the traditional contract/procurement style, adoption of design and build, management contracting and construction management and upscaling into mega practices.

Others are, more focus on social housing, patronage of local professionals in line with the local content law, the need for practitioners to provide guide for those been trained in schools, reduction of long gestation for dispute resolution in construction sector through dedicated construction court among others, to reduce the risk in the business for employers and developers.

These reforms he declared must come from the government, institutions, and practitioners in the industry, as it would help the economy grow. He was of the view that it would also help the professionals to have ample opportunities to develop their skills and impact on the citizens through the availability of modern infrastructure and improve modern lifestyle.

Onashile, who spoke to newsmen in Lagos, lamented that many of the business formations in the construction industry are still about one-man business, small partnership and a situation where operators are not prepared for mega businesses.

He stated that there is a need to review the form of contract as the old pattern, provided an avenue to resolve disputes in two ways namely, arbitration and litigation stressing that is what Nigeria still practices to date.

According to him, until there is a law that compels the developer to appoint qualified and verified professionals on projects and the necessity for a developer to ensure that he appoints a professional for projects, the parlous of building collapse may continue to bedevil the built industry.

He urged conscious provision of social housing by all levels of government for the civil servants and the primary school teachers. The absence of this he noted has constituted a limiting social-economic environment reformed in the industry.

“There are ways to bring up the social housing by adopting a form of fiscal policy approach of using tax payment to deliver housing like the executive order seven signed by President Muhammadu Buhari stressing that tax credit mustn’t be for road infrastructure alone,” he said.

Mortgage rate for housing, the way banking is being practiced is affecting the entire economy and the construction industry. Flagrant abuse of contractual relations in the construction sector must be resolved through Judges that understand construction intricacies as well as dedicated construction courts like, what it is obtained in advanced countries as well as deliberating on ways to export the expertise of local professionals,” he stated.

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