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Quantity surveyors charge practitioners on construction costing

To avert pitfalls in project delivery, the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS) has charged its members to develop competence and skills for effective construction cost estimating.

NIQS President, Muhammed Abba Tor, gave the charge during a two-day national workshop and induction of 94 new fellows organised by the institute in Lagos.

Speaking on “Construction Estimating for Successful Project Delivery, Abba Tor said estimating was important in ensuring resources that go into construction are well computed and captured as well as meet the expectations of stakeholders.

The workshop attracted the Secretary, Professional Development and Library of the institute, Dr. Amuda Ganiyu-Yusuf, Secretary, Marketing and Corporate Affairs, Aderonke Oyelami, state’s branch chairmen and fellows.

The speakers included Dr. Aminu Bashir, Dr. Bello Adeniran, Mr. Joe Fraser, Dr. Abdulhakeem Garba, Dr. Ayodeji Oke, Chijioke Iwuagwu, and Sanmi Olowosile.

Abba Tor emphasised that quantity surveyors must develop competencies on issues such as risk management, principles, and techniques of estimating, sustainability in construction, evolving information, and communication.

“Construction estimating must be approached with a high level of diligence, care, and competency. It requires a systematic analysis of the resources needed to accomplish any given project. It forms an important component of planning and serves as a baseline against which actual cost performance is tracked and measured.

“The rebranding programme embarked upon by this council is aimed at offering optimum services to clients. The rebranding roadmap is an important framework that provides evidence-based and data-driven principles for administering the institute. An important component of the programme entails the capacity building of members to enable them to deliver enhanced quality services, thereby achieving customer satisfaction.

“Proper estimating is more critical now than ever before as prices of construction materials keep on increasing unabatedly. Quantity surveyors are experts and professionals equipped with the technical know-how on construction projects and best suited to deliver this service,” he said.

On increasing prices of building materials in the country, Abba Tor said, “What we can do is to ensure precise predetermination or estimation of resources as much as possible to reduce wastages. Many factors contributed to the rising prices of building materials and these include, power and other critical infrastructures, cost of freights from one end to another and to the end-users. The components of imported materials for building are also subject to economic variables such as exchange rates.

He charged the new inductees to comply with the ethics and code of conduct of the profession by giving quality services to clients and members of society.

The Chairman, Quantity Surveyors’ Academy, Agele Alufohai, said construction estimating remained the lifeblood of construction activities.

He said: “Construction estimating can make a success or failure of a project. That is why practitioners have to be versatile in the field because they determine the cost of buildings, roads, airports, bridges, hotels, and others. If your estimate is wrong, a project becomes a disaster from the beginning, if it’s right, then you make a success of the project by making a profit.”

Alufohai, who also doubles as past president, observed that most of the projects in the country were abandoned due to bad estimating. He lamented the absence of price control in the country.

“Many years ago, the Federal Government came up with a policy on price control but it didn’t work. Price control is key if it is made to work. The price of a bag of cement in Ikeja will almost be the same thing in Ikoyi and other states with a very small percentage price difference but that isn’t the same again in Nigeria. This brings a lot of risks in construction estimating activities,” he added.

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