THE EFFECT OF TIMELY DELIVERY OF CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS ON THE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF NIGERIA
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Timely delivery of construction projects can fasten up drastic development in any country. Construction delay has become endemic in Nigeria, it is imperative to create awareness of the extent to which delays can adversely affect project delivery. This study identifies, by questionnaire evaluates and through empirical method assesses the effects of construction delays. The findings showed that time and cost overruns were frequent effects of delay. Delay had significant effect on completion cost and time of 61 building projects studied. Client-related delay is significant in Nigeria. Acceleration of site activities coupled with improved clients’ project management procedure and inclusion of appropriate contingency allowance in pre-contract estimate should assuage the adverse effect of construction delays.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Time impacts are inevitable on construction projects, primarily because of the uniqueness of each project and the limited resources of time and money that can be spent on planning, executing and delivering the project.
Time factors are inherent in all of project constructions undertakings. Construction projects have long been recognized as particularly cost, time and risk-laden. Some of the time and cost factors associated with the construction process are fairly predictable or identifiable; others may be totally unforeseen. The constructed project may not perform as anticipated because the owner may have unrealistic expectations regarding the delivery time of construction forcing contractors into unrealistic gambles, corner-cutting or commitments that may not be realistic (Frimpong 2003).
Project success can be defined as meeting goals and objectives as prescribed in the project plan. A successful project means that the project has accomplished its technical performance, maintained its schedule, and remained within budgetary costs. Project management tools and techniques play an important role in the effective management of a project. Therefore, a good project management lies in the management tools and techniques used to manage the project. Project management involves managing the resources, workers, machines, money, materials and methods used. Some projects are effectively and efficiently managed while others are mismanaged, incurring much delay and cost overruns and negatively affecting the economy (Frimpong 2003).
Assessing construction projects delivery time is critical in today’s market-driven economy.
To improve the economy and maximize long-term return on this public investment, government agencies have recently started utilizing new types of contracting methods that are designed to achieve multiple project objectives, including minimizing construction cost and duration, while maximizing its quality.
In recent years, many departments of transportation, in various states have started to apply new highway contracting methods, including: Bidding on time i.e., to encourage competition among contractors to minimize project duration (Holt et al 2000), Incentive/ disincentive contract clauses that provide financial incentives to reduce construction duration, Night time construction that seeks to cut service disruption and project time by requiring contractors to work during off-peak night time hours, Warranty contracting that attempts to improve construction quality by making contractors liable for the performance of the facility after project completion. These new and emerging contracts place an increasing pressure on decision makers in the construction industry to search for an optimal/near-optimal resource utilization plan that minimizes construction time while maximizing its quality. This creates new and pressing needs for advanced resource utilization models that are capable of optimizing the multiple and conflicting objectives of construction time, cost, and quality.
Significant research advancements have been made in the area of optimizing construction resource utilization. This led to a number of optimization models. These models can be classified according to their optimization objectives into models that attempted to: Minimize project time and/or improve resource utilization; minimize time and cost for non-repetitive construction using time-cost trade-off analysis minimize time and/or cost for repetitive construction.
While the above research study seeks to provide significant contributions to the area of optimizing construction resource utilization, there has been little or no reported research focusing on multi objective models for optimizing construction time, cost, and quality.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Misallocation and misperception of time factor in construction projects have resulted in the government of Nigeria paying more than necessary for many projects. Improper time assessment can also cause additional costs in the form of delays which result in poor utilization, increasing social and economic costs. Are contractors using the most appropriate resources to execute projects in Nigeria? Do they mobilize the needed resources within the approved time frame allotted to their contracts? What effects do short time periods and/ or extended time periods have on their project costs? Are there remedies to these situations?
These are some of the situations that have prompted the researcher to go deep into the assessment of the cost and time impacts of public sector construction projects in Nigeria.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The study had the main objective of assessing the effects of timely delivery of construction projects on the economy of Nigeria, but specifically it had the following objectives.
- To establish the extent to which time factors have impacted on construction of projects in the public sector in Nigeria.
- To find out the change in the perception of contractors on time effects on public sector construction in Nigeria.
- To find out the relationship between timely delivery of construction projects and the economic development of Nigeria.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
In order to achieve the objectives of the study, the following research questions were used by the researcher:
- What effects do time factors have on construction of projects in Nigeria?
- Has the perception of contractors on time factors in projects construction changed in recent years?
- What relationship exists between timely delivery of construction projects and economic development in Nigeria?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
H0: There is no significant relationship between timely delivery of construction projects and economic development of Nigeria.
H1: There is a significant relationship between timely delivery of construction projects and economic development of Nigeria.
H0: there is no significant relationship between timely delivery of construction projects and economic development in Nigeria.
H2: there is a significant relationship between timely delivery of construction projects and economic development in Nigeria
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
There are several valuable benefits expected by implementing this study. All construction contracts allocate time between owners and contractors. Hence the significance of this study would better inform improved project relationships and communications and enhance construction administration practices between owners and contractors. The significance of establishing the issues related to the construction project delays was to provide a greater insight and understanding on the causes of delays particularly among the main project players: contractors, client and consultants. This can be achieved by applying theoretical concepts discussed in many literatures into practice in real projects. It is hoped that these findings will guide efforts to improve the performance of the construction industry and will be useful to the construction players. Therefore, these findings might encourage the practitioner to focus on delay problem that might have existed in their present or future projects. Other than that, this study is expected to provide a better ways and methods in delivering construction projects by minimize the major causes of delays. The findings would also enhance and broaden time of wide range of risks that could materialize during the design, and construction phases of a project which would subsequently result in better and more prudent designs specifications.
1.7 SCOPE AND LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
The researcher will limit the study to the effects of timely delivery of construction projects on the economy of Nigeria, using the Fly over 2 project constructed by Julius Berger in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State as a case study. Findings and recommendations by the researcher may not be used for general analysis as the researcher could not assess numerous construction projects due to time and financial constraints. Construction of projects in the public sector has assumed significant functions, hence the need for assessment on the cost and time impacts of construction of projects in order to achieve overall project objectives. Historical project schedule and duration data is treated as confidential by Julius Berger Nigeria Plc hence getting data for this study was very difficult. Data collection and analysis was therefore limited to the data received from project supervisors in the field of project construction. Therefore this project was constrained by the following factors:
Bearing in mind the economic state of the nation, it was found difficult in making both ends meet, because of the exorbitant nature of things nowadays in travelling for the collection of data needed for the project.
Looking at the interval between the resumption and vacation of the final semester for the project to be completed, the time given seemed to be short for the collection of required information for better work to be done.
Non-Availability of Material
During this project, it was noticed that the required materials needed for the project are not documented. Those that were documented lacked access to the storage facilities where they can be reached.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Project delays: Construction delays in residential and light construction are often the result of miscommunication between contractors, subcontractors, and property owners. These types of misunderstandings and unrealistic expectations are usually avoided through the use of detailed critical path schedules, which specify the work, and timetable to be used, but most importantly, the logical sequence of events which must occur for a project to be complete.
Timely delivery: A timely event happens at a moment when it is useful, effective, or relevant.
Projects: In project management a project consists of a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service or result. Another definition is: a management environment that is created for the purpose of delivering one or more business products according to a specified business case.
Economic development: From a policy perspective, economic development can be defined as efforts that seek to improve the economic well-being and quality of life for a community by creating and/or retaining jobs and supporting or growing incomes and the tax base. Overview.
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