• Saturday, July 13, 2024
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Quantity Surveyors urge Bill to check corruption in construction industry

Quantity Surveyors

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday assured that the dark days of impunity are gone for good, even as he assured Nigerians that his administration will remain focused and committed to creating an inclusive and diversified economy.

This is just as the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors, NIQS have recommended the enactment of laws to check unwholesome practices in the nation’s construction industry.

The President while receiving leadership of the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS), led by Obafemi Onashile, used the occasion to highlight the administration’s achievements in stimulating the economy in the past three years, adding that ‘‘national growth must impact the silent majority.’’

“This is why in the past three years; we focused on key job-creating sectors such as agriculture and infrastructure development”.

“You will all recall that our agriculture and infrastructure programmes contributed to our exit from recession. This is a clear example of how, if we push ‘inclusive’ job-creating policies, growth will follow.
‘‘We will remain committed to these and other programmes to ensure the success of our nation is felt by the majority of Nigerians,’’ he said.

On the incessant building collapses across the country, the President warned that those responsible for such incidents of professional negligence will feel the full wrath of the law.

The President recalled the recent tragic incident in Lagos, and many others across the country, which he sees as “reminder of the need to strictly adhere to quality standards on construction projects.”
“Young innocent lives must never be lost due to incompetence and greed. Simply put, no corners must be cut. I want to assure you that those responsible for such incidents of professional negligence will feel the full wrath of the law,’’ he said.

He also welcomed recommendations and suggestions from the Institute on how to enhance the construction industry, directing that they make a formal submission to the Minister of Power, Works and Housing as soon as possible.
President of NIQS, Onashile appealed to the Federal Government to create a Directorate of Quantity Surveying and Projects Costs Management to address the issue of unclear delineation of professional functions amongst construction professions within the Government.

Onashile also made a case for Quantity Surveyors to be mandated and allowed to undertake cost management of projects of all forms on behalf of Government, among others.

The NIQS revealed that it was working on a draft Bill for enactment to Assure and Control Building and Construction Industry payments that will frustrate corrupt tendencies in the Industry.

Others include the Promotion of Welfare and Professionalism of members by every stakeholder involved with Construction.

“To this end, the NIQS has drafted a Bill for enactment to Regulate and Control Building and Construction Industry Health and Safety.
“This law once signed into operation will bring to immediate halt to the issues of collapse buildings currently ravaging our country .

Onashile also called for the establishment of Federal Construction Law Courts to specifically focus on Construction disputes and ensure fast and prompt resolution of construction cases which currently tend to last decades in Courts.

They also mull the need for a Federal Social Housing Corporation responsible for delivering Social housings to the vulnerable Civil and Public Servants especially school teachers, military and para-military service personnel and other Ministry workers on low- to – middle income level.

“This will help such workers shun any corruption tendencies and be strict with their works. It will also bring back the Middle-Income workers cadre that are the bane of sustainable growth of any nation.

The Quantity Surveyors called on the government to create a Federal Projects-Forensic Audit Unit within the Federal Ministry of Finance.

“This Unit shall evaluate completed projects ( of fairly size value equivalent of $5m and above) after a couple of years of completion by the Contractors to ascertain whether what the Government bargained for an contracted out is what has been delivered or not at completion “