The Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS) has called on the federal and state governments to adopt transparent infrastructure procurement processes to promote timely and adequate infrastructure delivery across the country.
It specifically advocated the adoption of World Bank and other global procurement standards in Nigeria, saying this would enhance transparency in resource management and also ensure value for money spent on the projects.
NIQS President, Mr Olayemi Shonubi, who spoke in Lagos at a news conference heralding the institute’s 2022 Conference and Annual General Meeting also called for reduction in the cost of governance and consumption in the face of dwindling resources.
According to him, the measures would save more for infrastructure investments while adopting best global procurement practices.
The conference with the theme “Infrastructure Cost Management: Contemporary Issues and Emerging Trends” is holding from Wednesday 23rd to Friday 25th November in Lagos.
Amidst the rising infrastructure deficit across the country with the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola declaring recently that the government needs N500bn annually to fix road infrastructure alone, the NIQS President said, “It is imperative, therefore, that whatever funding that is available is judiciously spent.”
He stated that adopting global standards in procurement would also enhance investment in infrastructure by private sector participants, multilateral development institutions and ease journalists’ reportage of infrastructure project cost.
Shonubi explained that the theme of the conference was informed by the growing need by Nigerians for improved infrastructure amidst the current global economic crisis which has made it difficult to access funding for infrastructure development with other pressing needs of the citizenry in focus.
“The International Cost Management Standards (ICMS) Coalition was set up in May 2015 subsequent to a meeting at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Headquarters in Washington when some International Professional Associations of Construction Cost experts decided to set up the Standards Setting Committee,’’ he said.
He said the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors being one of them, had since remained a Trustee of the body.
“This body mooted the idea of developing the first global standards for the classification, presentation and bench-marking of construction cost across the globe,” Shonubi added.
Former Minister of Works and Housing, Dr Mike Onolememen, and a Construction and Infrastructure Sector expert, Dr Anil Sawhney, will examine the theme from global and national perspectives.
He said that other speakers would discuss the global standards for reporting and bench-marking construction costs.
Shonubi explained different layers of progress achieved through collaboration of NIQS with local and foreign institutions and experts since June 2015 to evolve three editions of cost management standards.
Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State; his Gombe State counterpart, Malam Yahaya Inuwa; a former Minister of Works and Housing, Sen. Adeseye Ogunlewe; and some Fellows of NIQS were listed among award recipients.