Proper road construction in Nigeria will greatly influence the wellbeing of citizens, improve their lives, connect large cities with remote rural areas, expand social and economic activities, reduce accident rates and attract foreign investments. However, there are a number of obstacles hampering the effective development of the road network in the country. This article will teach about these obstacles.
1. Extension of deadlines
If you carefully observe all the projects being implemented in Nigeria, you will notice that only a few of them get completed on time; most times work gets stretched beyond the planned duration, which is an evidence of weak discipline.
As a result of poor planning, it tends to take much more energy, money and time to realize the plans being set out. This suggests that the officials responsible for carrying out these projects often miscalculate all that it takes, that is, they are not competent in their field of activity.
Contractors should not start large-scale jobs without knowing all the details, or thinking about the scale and structure; otherwise, they end up in situations where organizers simply do not understand which direction to move in. Unfortunately, many road development projects in Nigeria are being carried out with such negligence.
It is necessary to calculate everything in advance to avoid having to suspend work due to the addition of new functions and tasks that go beyond the previously agreed plan. If time and cost of road construction materials are not carefully calculated at the start, the entire project ends up less productive than expected.
The shift in timing becomes inevitable if the project starts up too generalized and vague. The following factors can cause this:
- Lack of a clear sequence of documentation.
- Unforeseen conflicts between team members, clients and performers.
- Also, customers can insist on getting additional work at an excessively reduced price.
- Starting work without carefully calculating costs and profits.
- Change of initial requirements.
- Sometimes organizers promise amazing results under a budget but end up realizing it cannot work, so they end up delivering worse results.
2. Insufficient funding
The construction of roads require considerable financial resources; the equipments cost millions of naira, so contractors usually end up facing face financial problems. The desire to buy materials cheaper and pay less money to employees usually comes with adverse consequences. Lack of sufficient funds can be a reason for refusing reconstruction projects.
Customers do not express much confidence in novice contractors because they do not want to spend money on dubious projects and become victims of delays; banks also rarely finance them. Money is more often provided to large companies.
Federal Ministry of Works is responsible for the design, construction, rehabilitation and planning of road networks. This organization distributes large contracts throughout the country and controls the execution of road projects. The government can hardly be referred to as a reliable employer since payments for executors of contractors are often delayed.
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The construction industry requires a large amounts of money to function. It is not surprising to find corruption in spheres where great capital is being used. Sometimes money gets paid to unknown persons and these transactions are not reflected in official documents.
Bribery is a common phenomenon in the construction industry. The initial sums acquire very large added value that the customers often do not know what they are paying for. This disorder can be observed in both government and private projects.
It seems that corruption has become the norm in Nigeria, and this is really scary. Strict discipline is required for the rational management of material resources.
In fact, corruption exists not just amongst managing personnels, but across all levels of organizations. Funds allocated for large projects end up being used for personal purposes and distributed amongst participants via series of transactions. Should we then be surprised when projects handled by corrupt persons end up unfinished?
4. Poor quality control
Another problem often faced in Nigeria is weak quality control; this results in cases where greedy contractors end up buying cheap materials and keeping the excess balance in their own pockets.
The situation also gets complicated by insufficient funding. If constructors do not have access to all that they need to work effectively, it becomes difficult to blame them for bad results.
Sometimes the usual negligence provokes negative results as important details are not given proper attention. Monitoring of all processes and materials required for construction end up not getting carried out correctly
5. Unfinished projects
In the construction industry in Nigeria, there are many examples of projects that have been swiftly launched but never completed; most of the time the contractors do not even return to them. This raises an important question - what is the point of starting these projects in the first place only to waste money and energy? These situations are especially seen in government projects because there is corruption and political problems in administrative apparatus.
Change of power brings critical effects to a lot of things in the country; the new government may not be interested in continuing work on some projects, so they just freeze them. Such a fate has befallen many promising ideas.
The job of project management are also usually awarded to colleagues, friends and relatives of people in power. Sometimes they do not even have technical knowledge and skills necessary to manage such cases.
6. Low knowledge base
One of the most problems of road construction in Nigeria is that experienced engineers do not pass on knowledge to their followers. New specialists do not know how to properly carry out soil testing, align the road, lay rubble or asphalt. In addition, constructors must check the quality of the materials being used.
Consulting firms do not train specialists in the development and interpretation of drawings, so every year the quality of road works gets worse.
Most of the time, consulting organizations attract hired engineers but do not allow young professionals to participate in developing the projects. This leads to a huge gap in knowledge. Consequently, most graduates of engineering training institutions in Nigeria do not have practical knowledge.
Modern methods of construction are also not fully used these days. Therefore, many roads do not correspond to actual requirements in terms of time, cost and quality.
7. Poor maintenance
Poor road maintenance has become an example of negative culture in the country and a habit which the authorities are slow to fight. Despite the huge investment, Nigerians do not get the results they deserve.
Roads are sometimes laid on unfavorable, unstable soil. In some areas, you can see a large amount of garbage as clean ups do not get carried out on a regular basis. In rural areas, some side drains stay completely blocked; this is especially seen in the eastern part of the country where the soil is prone to erosion.
Caring for drainage channels and systems is extremely important for Nigeria. The central channel must be properly connected to all the drains. If enough attention is not paid to such nuances, the renovated roads end up returning to their sad state.
The process of distributing material resources and obtaining all the documents necessary for carrying out work can be quite long. Delays and exhausting walks from one office to another lead to situations where the initial plan loses relevance, and the sources of funding may be lost, thus, promising ideas do not translate into reality.
Now you know the main problems of road construction in Nigeria. To improve the quality of road networks in Nigeria, considerable attention needs to be paid to supervision, methodology and materials used. Only this way will Nigerians be able to get the kinds of roads they really deserve.
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