Cost of steel building construction in Nigeria


At the beginning of the 20th century, materials with better performance and durability were introduced, for example, reinforced concrete, steel, plastics, and metal (Taylor, 2013). Ibn-Homaid and the report of UNCHS found that building materials remain the most significant input in project development and play a very important role in the delivery of construction projects. Buttressing this view, Jagboro and Owoeye and Idoro and Jolaiya find that building materials alone account for 50% to 60% of project cost and control about 80% of its schedule. One of the major constraints in the Nigerian construction industry today has been the rapid inflation in the cost of the building materials. Windapo, Ogunsanmi, and Iyagba observed that the situations arising from the rapid increase in the cost of building materials may degenerate to acute shortages of housing with the millions of middle- and low-income families being priced out of the market for home ownership all across Nigeria. According to Mansfield, Ugwu, and Doran and Obadan , government policies set the economic environment in which all sectors operate including the building materials sector. Dlakwa and Culpin and Adekoya identified government fiscal policies as one of the factors affecting the cost of building materials in the Nigerian construction industry. However, findings of other researchers, Jagboro and Owoeye ; Mojekwu, Idowu, and Sode ; and Idoro and Jolaiya , concluded that factors such as the change in government policies and legislations, scarcity of building raw materials, fluctuation in the cost of fuel and power supply, inadequate infrastructural facilities, corruption, fluctuation in the cost of plant and labor, seasonal changes, fluctuation in the cost of transportation and distribution, political interference, local taxes and charges, fluctuation on cost of raw materials, fluctuation in the interest rates and the cost of finance, the inflation, and fluctuation in the exchange rate of Naira were many of the recipes for the rising cost of building materials in Nigeria. Implications of Rising in the Cost of Building Materials The general direction at which prices of building materials are increasing in Nigeria was as the result of the combined effects of high interest rates, devaluation of the Naira, inflation, and non-effective distribution network of the materials (Ogu & Ogbuozobe, 2001; Oladipo & Oni, 2012). According to Mojekwu et al. , the Nigerian Government curtailed activities in cement business when it banned the importation of Portland cement in the country between 2003 and 2007. The study also found that although the restraining of the importations was done to protect local manufacturer but then the local manufacturer were not able to produce enough cement that could measure to the demand and as such, the action contributed to the rising cost of the product. However, Jagboro and Owoeye and Aibinu and Jagboro noticed that increase in the prices of building materials has multiplier effects on the industry as it leads to fluctuation in construction costs and the eventual abandonment of projects. Other implications such as completion at the expense of other projects, delay in progress of project works, other valuable projects not being commissioned, rate of employment of construction workers, poor workmanship as a result of the use of low-quality local materials, and inhibited innovations in construction methods were identified by Elinwa and Buba ; Idoro and Jolaiya ; Okpala and Aniekwu ; Oladipo and Oni ; and Windapo et al. as the possible implications of the rising cost. Inhibited innovations in construction methods and material research Egan’s report found that the very low and unreliable rate of profitability within construction is an obstacle to sustainable healthy development. The report was of the opinion that increasing financial pressure are bound to be on contractors when initial budget figures become completely unrealistic and concluded that the situation will damage the industry and jeopardize its existence Xiao and Proverbs also argued that construction companies have a social responsibility to provide staff training, maintain a high level of health and safety of its workers, and invest in research and development to facilitate continuous improvement in technology and management. However, inflation in the cost of building materials had resulted in low and unreliable rate of profitability, and this has affected the performance of the industry in the area of innovations in construction methods and material research. Fluctuation in construction costs Maintaining steady cost projection on construction projects had been an issue of serious concern both to the client and project contractors. Azhar, Farooqui, and Ahmed noticed that the basic reason of cost overruns is that most contractors quote prices based on their projected estimates; unfortunately, the prices change so quickly that the initial budget figures become completely unrealistic.


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