Quantity Surveyors battle for survival

 The sustainability of Africa’s Quantity Surveyors is under threat from foreign competitors and unqualified industry players. 

This comes as Africa has seen sustained activity driven by private and foreign investment in major projects, but the benefits have not cascaded to local players. 

Africa Association of Quantity Surveyors (AAQS) President for Nigeria, Obafemi Onashile, said there was need for reformation in the construction sectors for improved productivity and national economies in Africa.

 "The construction sector is very important to every national economy, and this has been demonstrated in many countries such as Dubai and the United States which are rated first world countries because of their enormous infrastructure that were put in place. 

“However, this is not the case in Africa, as the value for quantity surveyors seems to be undervalued, thus making it very difficult for the sector to flourish including development because there is no cost efficiency being implemented," he said. 

Onashile was addressing Quantity Surveyors who gathered in Windhoek this week to deliberate how they can revive, sustain and grow the sector. 

The industry players also complained about flawed tendering processes in awarding of contracts, as well as the use of outdated contract conditions not in accordance with current global standards. This is further coupled by a lack of understanding and utilisation of modern procurement practices. 

Onashile noted that African countries are the future as everyone looks to undertake projects in the continent, thus it was important to shape and align local Quantity Surveyors so that when such times come they are already inline and able to blend in. 

"This is why as quantity surveyors we came to merge and have one voice, because if we were to speak in as individuals our voice could diminish further, hence a collaborative effort is needed," added a fellow AAQS vice president for Zambia, Mathew Ngulube. 

The associations further echoed that there was no clear delineation of roles of the professionals in the construction sector, making reference to engineers who are trained in design, but instead take on the role of cost estimation. 

"There is further lack of respect for contractual agreements especially with the government due to bureaucracy and delays in payment, this leads to frustrations and disputes leaving contractors helpless."

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Last modified on Sunday, 05 March 2023 11:18

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