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The successful public procurement of infrastructure is an essential element in the achievement of sustainable development. This success is dependent on the procurement strategy adopted. The ability of a procurement strategy to achieve the project objectives is based on the strategy being specifically tailor made to the infrastructure type and the context of the procurement. Research has shown that water is a key element in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals because it plays a part in achieving fourteen of the seventeen goals. With the majority of the world’s poor living in urban areas with limited access to clean drinking water. Its infrastructure is clearly the most essential. Nigeria has the fourth largest low income urban population. These limited resources that Nigeria has to effectively utilise them to provide this essential service and provide sustainable development for its citizenry. The study was aimed at developing a public procurement strategy for the provision of potable water infrastructure to low income urban areas in Nigeria. The Research carried out was the case studies of water infrastructure procured for the Millennium Development Goals Nigeria for MDG Goal 7 in Kaduna, Anambra and Ogun states. The research population was made up of three key components; the contractors, the clients and the communities. The client and contractors were interviewed to ascertain the effectiveness of the existing strategy in terms of achieving their project goals, critically analyse the strategy and propose improvements. The communities participated in the focus group to ascertain their assessment of the existing strategy, their role in the process and propose improvement. The research found that only one public strategy was identified to be used by the Client Organisation which was based on competitive tendering and the traditional procurement process. Although it had some advantages such as competition, it did not achieve both the primary and secondary goals of the procurement process and hence was deemed ineffective. Some of the limitations identified of the current strategy included; political interference, lack of community involvement, inadequate design, transparency, no feedback mechanism, sustainability and maintenance issues .Consequently, a strategy framework was developed after a critical analysis of the problems and the context in which they emerge, and the various possible solutions to the problems were identified and evaluated. The developed strategy framework which consisted of the five stages (need definition, design, tendering, construction and operation) and three resource assessment gateways. The framework inculcated the importance of defined primary and secondary project objectives, a clear and distinct role for the community and other stakeholders, effective risk distribution, and provided a more holistic flexible sustainable strategy that could be implemented for immediate use under current laws or the planned reform. The study recommends that when developing an effective procurement strategy, achieving all specific goals of key stakeholders and an effective community and stakeholder management system should be given priority


1.0         INTRODUCTION

1.1          Background

Procurement has been used by the public sector for realising projects and programmes, including those in the infrastructure sector. It is considered an important tool for achieving performance improvement in the construction industry (Ibrahim, 2008). Procurement determines the overall framework and structure of responsibilities and authorities for guiding participants within the development process (Love, Skitmore and Earl, 1998) and it encompasses all development stages from the identification of the need for a product to the delivery and subsequent maintenance of the asset (Institute of Civil Engineers (ICE), 2008; Ibrahim, 2008). Literature also indicates that the scope of procurement encompasses the cultural, economic, environmental and political issues raised by the process (Sohail, 2001; United Nations Millennium Project (UNMP), 2003; United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), 2004; Institute of Civil Engineers (ICE), 2008; Ibrahim, 2008).

The procurement method chosen to provide an asset was used to effectively solve the erstwhile time, cost and quality paradigm (highest quality, at lowest price, in shortest time) which has now been overtaken by the value for money paradigm (Hackett, Robinson, Statham, & Langdon, 2007). The selection of the most suitable procurement method is critical for both the clients and the projects participants (Ibrahim, 2008). Watermeyer (2011) emphasised that procurement strategies should be designed around a set of system objectives. The primary objectives require that the process be fair, equitable, transparent, competitive and cost effective while the secondary objectives include the engagement of stakeholders throughout the process. Ibrahim (2007) had also indicated that to ensure the success of any procurement strategy, the nature, type and environment of the proposed development must be taken into consideration and that tailored strategies should be designed for each infrastructure type against the use of generic and universal strategies. For example, specific strategies have been developed for procuring various infrastructure types such as Oil and Gas Facilities (Mohamed, 2007), Healthcare facilities (Ibrahim, 2010), Roads (Mudi, Lowe, and Manase, 2015).

There is greater recognition amongst development policy makers that access for the poor to a range of infrastructure services will be necessary to eradicate poverty (United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UNHSP), 2011; Richardson and Durose, 2013). The use of effective strategy for providing basic infrastructure will go a long way to improve the squalid conditions in low income urban areas (LIAUs). A significant population of the world’s poor live in these areas helping to achieve the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The provision of potable water to these areas are essential as it impacts survival. Consequently, a suitable procurement strategy that will ensure the provision of potable water infrastructure to low income urban areas in Nigeria will assist in ensuring the achievement of target 7C of the MDGs. The target aimed to reduce by half the proportion of the population without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation. Although the target was not met, a positive significant impact was made. Consequently a SDG on the provision of potable water was included in the Sustainable Development Goals Agenda. The Sustainable goals built upon the framework of the MDGs but with an expanded scope and parameters in terms of funding, benchmarks and stakeholder involvement (United Nations (UN), 2015).

1.2          Statement of the Problem

Existing literature on the procurement strategies of infrastructure in Nigeria include: for the provision of other infrastructure such as Health and Road (Ibrahim, 2008; Mudi, Lowe, and Manase, 2015); for the criteria for the selection of appropriate strategies for infrastructure (Ademola, Eyi-tope and Gbadebo, 2012); for specific strategies such as Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) (Akinsoye, 2010; Danraka, 2014; Amobi, 2013; Bamidele, Adenusi and Osunsami, 2014) and for the provision of infrastructure to rural areas (Ogungbemi, Bubou and Okorhi, 2014); but there is no existing literature for the provision of potable water infrastructure in Low Income Urban Areas in Nigeria.

Water Infrastructure is one of the most important elements of infrastructure (Fitch, Odeh and Ibbs, 2005). Unfortunately, it is the least profitable and hence does not attract the private sector. As a result, there is limited applicability of the Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) by government (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), 2003; Nigeria Infrastructure Advisory Facility (NIAF), 2009). Networked water systems have extremely high capital costs well in excess of other infrastructure services and are mostly financed with loans, for as long a term as is commercially available. These high costs coupled with inadequate tariff structures has led to a shortfall in the provision of potable water infrastructure to the communities that can least afford it. The private companies’ motivation is profit and will only supply to the areas where profit can be made. The government on the other hand are incapable of providing it to the areas that are least able to pay for it (OECD, 2003).

Research carried out in Asia and South America, on the provision of infrastructure in low income urban areas have reported that strategies developed with some sort of partnership 3

with the communities in these areas tend to be more successful than those without. This has led to the strong thrust for procurement strategies that entrenched the principles of community partnership procurement (CPP) (Sohail and Baldwin, 2001; UNDP, 2003; Burra, 2005; Das and Takahashi, 2009; Asia Pacific Ministerial Conference on Housing and Urban Development (APMCHUD), 2010). Studies on these strategies found that there were considerable gains in terms of cost and time but nothing significant in terms of the quality (Sohail, 2003; Cities Alliance (CA), 2005; Mankong, 2005). The main conditions that made CPP effective were identified to include: that the communities had to have some sort of organised structures; the projects were small in size, not complex, required only onsite training and capacity building and finally required long term relationships. Unfortunately, in Africa in general and particularly in Nigeria none of the conditions have been met.

Nigeria cannot achieve the SDGs without providing clean potable water to its populations that are dwelling in these areas. The Federal Ministry of Water Resources of Nigeria (2010) had estimated that it will need to spend over N900 billion (Nine Hundred Billion Naira) to provide water infrastructure, which government clearly cannot afford from its coffers.

The alternative, therefore, is to adopt partnership with the private sector and other stakeholders to provide these services. Earlier researches (Sohail and Baldwin, 2001; UNDP, 2003; Burra, 2005; Das and Takahashi, 2009; APMCHUD, 2010; FGN, 2010; FMWR 2010) from other countries have shown that in order for projects of this nature to work the communities needs to play a role whether active or passive, in the procurement process. Yet, the barriers and challenges hindering the attainment of the investment objectives under the subsisting arrangement have not well documented. Neither has the feasibility of involving communities in the procurement process explored. For efficiency, a strategy that integrates the communities into the process of procuring potable water to the target segment of the society with clear delineation of roles and responsibilities whilst ensuring the attainment of value for money will also be critical.

1.3         Justification for the study

The role of water in the achievement of sustainable development has just been recently identified as essential in the sustainable development research (UNDESA, 2013). The earlier lack of reliable and credible data on water had impeded the planning and provision of sustainable water management. The novelty of this knowledge has been reflected in the relative invisibility of water linkages to the other SDGs until recently (UN, 2015). Subsequently, investments in water has been identified as an enabler and entry point for equitable and sustainable socio-economic development (UN, 2016).

The Water Crisis was rated the number one (1) global risk based on its impact (as a measure of devastation) as announced by the World Economic Forum in January 2015. Without clean drinking water, the population would be susceptible to disease, stunt growth in children and also result in the attendant complications. Global trends predict that all population after 2050 would occur in urban areas (UN, 2015). The World Bank (2008) predicts that over 90 percent of population growth occurs in the developing world, with 70 million people joining the urban poor every year. The current population of the world’s urban poor is over 600 million people (Joint Monitoring Programme, 2015).

With over 70 million people, Nigeria has the fourth largest population of low income urban communities after China, India and Brazil (UN, 2011). The outcomes of the huge investments incurred in the provision of potable water infrastructure to this segment of the society has remained abysmal. The identification of the barriers and challenges hindering the attainment of the investment objectives from the subsisting arrangements for procuring potable water infrastructure to the target segment of the society will facilitate the development of an effective strategy for reversing the poor delivery performance. The mechanisms for involving communities, whole life costing considerations and appropriate allocation of risks should also facilitate the attachment of value for money form the investments. All these conditions ultimately yield themselves to become an immediate significant problem to the Country. How does the government use its limited resources to provide an essential service which is directly tied to the country’s ability to provide sustainable development to its citizens? This research provided a framework of a strategy that answers the question above. The strategy provided will seek to achieve all the identified stakeholders’ goals. Clearly providing the roles and responsibilities of each identified stakeholder.

1.4         Aim & Objectives

1.4.1    Aim

The aim of this research is to develop a public procurement strategy for the provision of water infrastructure in low income urban communities (LIUAs) with the view to ensuring effective delivery of potable water.

1.4.2     Objectives

The objectives of the study are to:

  1. articulate existing strategies for procuring infrastructure;
  2. identify procurement strategies available for the provision of potable water infrastructure in low income urban areas;
  • evaluate the effectiveness of current procurement strategies as vehicles for the provision of potable water infrastructure to LIUAs;
  1. assess stakeholder involvement in the process and its relationship with the effectiveness of existing strategies; and
  2. develop an effective public procurement strategy for the provision of potable water infrastructure in LIUAs.

1.5 Scope

1.5.1 Scope

The scope of the research is the public procurement of water infrastructure to low income urban areas as defined by the United Nations Millennium Goals. The only water infrastructure type used by the government for Low Income Urban Areas (LIUAs) were boreholes. The projects under review were commissioned from 2006 and 2012. The mandate of the MDGs included the provision of water to both rural and urban areas. The water projects were not uniformly dispersed in terms of geographical spread. Therefore within the period of 2006-2012 which was under the purview of this research it was not possible to get a case study for each geopolitical zone. The research opted to select three cosmopolitan communities from the three main ethnic blocs; Kaduna (North West), Ozubulu (South East) and Oredegbe (South West) when they were assessing the communities for the research but the other two (2) stakeholders namely Contractors and the Client Organisation not so limited.

1.5.2. Limitations

The Limitations of the research carried out are as follows;

  1. There was an uneven distribution of MDG Goal 7 water projects among the 6 geopolitical zones, therefore not every geopolitical zone was represented in the communities used in this research
  2. The literacy level and the inability of the researcher to speak the local languages of the communities affected the quality of the responses that are acquired from the focus groups. For example some of the descriptive phrases did not have exact meanings when translated into English and the closest meanings were adopted. In order to reduce the impact of this limitation an interpreter was employed from the communities to interpret to those who were better able to express themselves better in their language.

1.5.3. Assumptions

The research was conducted on the assumption which would otherwise have made the applicability of the results and conclusion to be questionable. It is assumed that all the projects under consideration went through the same procurement process.

1.6 Theoretical Framework

Theories are formulated to explain, predict, and understand phenomena and, in many cases, to challenge and extend existing knowledge, within the limits of the critical bounding assumptions. The theoretical framework is the structure that can hold or support a theory of a research study. The theoretical framework introduces and describes the theory which explains why the research problem under study exists (USC, 2014).

The following are the themes that were addressed in this research;

  1. The role of the construction industry in the achievement of sustainable development and through an effective procurement of infrastructure (Doczi et al, 2013, Watermeyer, 2013,World bank 2005, UNMP, 2010, Ajibola et al, 2013, UNHSP, 2011; Hawkins and Wells, 2007; FGN, 2010; Ibrahim , 2009).
  2. Procurement as key to improving the performance of construction industry (Kolo and Ibrahim, 2010; Adogbo et al, 2010; Akintan and Morledge, 2013)
  • Key objectives of procurement; (ICE, 2008; Watermeyer, 2013; UNHSP, 2011; Hawkins and Wells, 2007).
  1. The importance of community/ stakeholder involvement; (Sohail and Baldwin, 2001; UNDP, 2003; Burra, 2005; Das and Takahashi, 2009; APMCHUD, 2010; FGN, 2010; FMWR 2010).
  2. The need for tailor made strategies as against generic strategies; (Office of Government Commerce (OGC), 2008; Ibrahim 2007, Ibrahim, 2011; Dreschler, Vrijhoef and Ridder, 2007; Hawkins and Wells, 2007; Ratnasabapathy and Rameezdeen, 2007; Watermeyer, 2013)
  3. Key considerations for successful procurement strategies; (Diaz- Cayeros et al, 2013; Uduku, 2013; Ibrahim 2008;Bielaczye, 2006; Hawkins and Wells, 2007)
  • The place of gender equality in sustainable development; (Bandiera and Natraj, 2013; Muiru, 2008, Adogbo, 2013, UNDP, 2012, Snow, 2013).


Account Number: 0709546102

Access Bank: Savings
Account Name: Emmanuel Idorenyin Samuel.









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