BCPG Ikeja: Bill of Quantities Prevents Project Abandonment, Quality Compromise

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Bennett Oghifo

The Building Collapse Prevention Guild, Ikeja Cell has called on prospective building developers and clients to engage the ser-vices of Quantity Surveyors before embarking on construction. Bill of Quantities and Schedule of Materials prepared by QuantySurveyors are the veritable instrument that assists the client at exercising control, some checks and balances on the building project cost.

According to Mrs. Adejoke Alabi, the lead speaker at the seminar organised by BCPG Ikeja Cell recently, “Prevention of defective building construction and building project abandonment begins at the point where the quantity surveyor uses the architectural, structural, mechanical and electrical drawings to determine the overall cost of the project.

“Once it is discovered that the cost of the proposed project is beyond the available or anticipated fund, the client could request the architect and engineers to review the design of the building to what he or she could afford rather than embarking on a building project that would take a long time to complete, thereby exposing the structure to the debilitating weather effects.”

Mrs. Alabi, a former Head of Quantity Surveying Department, Lagos State Ministry of Works and Infrastructure corroborated the theme of the seminar, ‘Important Role of the Quantity Surveyors in the Prevention of Building Collapse,’ with a passage from the scripture, Luke 14 verse 28 that warns, “Do not build a house without first sitting down to count the cost to see whether you have enough to complete it.”

The Coordinator of the BCPG Ikeja Cell, Mrs. Iyabode Bolarinwa, who is a professional builder observed that, “Most clients pretend to understand the architectural design until reality dawns on them when the building is being constructed. They begin to complain about the bogus sizes of the rooms and other spaces. As the project execution continues to gulp more fund, the client, not wanting to suspend the project becomes desperate, drawing money reserved for his or her business and might even be forced to borrow against his or her plan.

“The builder on such a project could suffer a transferred aggression from the client or the representative when he or she (the builder) refuses to cooperate on quality reduction due to insufficient funds.”

Mrs. Bolarinwa, a former Vice Chairman of Council of

Registered Builders of Nigeria (CORBON) explained that many clients have suffered from collapse of businesses and high blood pressure for embarking on building construction without first

quantifying the cost implications.

Responding to a constructive criticism by the former Chairman of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, old Lagos Branch, Mr. Babatunde Johnson, a civil/ structural engineer, that the Quantity Surveyor had the tendency of overprotecting the interest of the client to the detriment of the contractor, Mrs. Aderonke Oyelami, who is the Chairperson, Women Association of Quantity Surveyors of Nigeria explained that, “The Quantity Surveyor should be a cost arbiter that would ensure that the client is not cheated

while the contractor or the executor of the project is not

squeezed with tight and unrealistic rates that would tempt him or her to compromise on quality.”

Mrs. Oyelami further stated that, “In the contract bidding and

pricing strategy, the Quantity Surveyor’s work serves mainly as a benchmark against which submissions are controlled. In that

case, the lowest bidder might not necessarily be the appropriate.”

The Chairman of Ikeja Local Government, Hon. Mojeed

Balogun, ably represented by his Special Adviser on Works and Housing, Hon. Olusegun Aderowo emphasised on the importance of putting quality ahead of profit in construction as durability, on the long run, would be cheaper than constant repair of

shoddy works.

Speaking from hindsight, the Chairman of the BCPG, Lagos State Chapter, Mr. Solomon Ogunseye, an architect observed that some clients were ignorant of the advantage of obtaining Bills of Quantities before embarking on construction projects. With reasonable charges, the Quantity Surveyor would assist a

prospective home-owner cut his or her coat according to the individual’s size in terms of fund availability.

In his peculiar contribution, the Secretary of BCPG Ikeja Cell, Mr. Frank Ikuewan, a geologist highlighted the relevance of Schedule of Materials prepared by the Quantity Surveyor as a tool

for discouraging pilfering of materials on site.

Relationship between the Bill of Quantities that is usually prepared by the Quantity Surveyor and Valuation prepared by the Estate Surveyor and Valuer on a building was clarified by Mr. Biodun Olapade, a fellow of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers.

The BCPG National President, Mr. George Akinola, an architect that moderated the seminar reiterated the benefit of synergy that Building Collapse Prevention Guild has been promoting among the built environment professionals which, ultimately, would bridge communication gap and reduce the unpleasant role rivalries and conflicts within the nation’s construction industry.