The Cross River State Commissioner for Works, Mr Dane Osim-Asu, has called for a review of the Project Procurement process to encourage use of direct labour model and boost the nation’s infrastructure development.
Osim-Asu made the call at the 5th Nigeria Construction Industry Hall of Fame of the Construction Technology Development Forum, advocating the use of direct labour model.
The event was organised under the auspices of the Construction and Engineering Digest (CED) Magazine in Lagos.
The commissioner said that direct labour model was what was needed in the Nigerian construction industry to ensure effective conceptualisation and execution of infrastructure projects with limited available resources.
Osim-Asu said direct labour was a system where the client or owner directly hires and supervises trade persons, labourers and/or plant, and directly purchases materials or equipment to carry out the project works.
He said that direct labour would reduce costs, ensure easy management and control of project, while improving on the quality of works and overall economic development.
According to him, direct labour allows for physical transparency and accountability, which are key in ensuring sustainable construction.
He said that lack of direct labour approach was the one of the major reasons for failure of most construction projects.
“Physical transparency must be the focus of any government that wants to deliver sustainable construction; countries that are transparent are liable to accomplishment of their capital projects.
“The use of inappropriate procurement processes for the execution of construction projects has been recognised as one of the principal reasons for poor performance in the construction industry.
“Abandonment and shoddy construction projects are as a result of little or no direct labour in the project execution.
“With direct labour, there is no wasting of precious time in writing tenders or negotiating with contractors. The procedure for initiating the execution of work is highly simplified, ” Osim-Asu said.
Mobolaji Adeniji, Third Vice President, Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA), speaking on the topic “Implementing Digital Disruption and Capacity Building Effectively in the Built Environment” stressed the need for adoption of technology.
Adeniji said that construction would benefit from robotics in dangerous and repetitive aspects of construction works, as collaboration of humans with robots was desirable to make construction easier and faster.
While listing various kinds of drones and robots used to make architectural designs faster, she said “companies who do not quickly adapt will find themselves irrelevant and least competitive in the construction market”.
Adeniji said that adoption of technology in architecture was affecting physical space utilization, and in the near future, there would be no need large spaces for schools, hospitals and other critical infrastructure.
“Unfortunately, several Nigerians are resisting technological innovations, preferring to hold on to old traditions,” she said.
Other speakers called for more training of professionals to bridge the gap in construction, healthcare and other sectors in the economy.
They recommended declaration of a state of emergency on infrastructure vandalism as well as setting up special courts to try offenders to serve as deterrent.