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Construction Projects in Rivers State

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Analysis of Time and Cost Performance of Construction Projects in Rivers State, Nigeria

Ibeawuchi I. Echeme, PhD and Uchenna U. Moneke, PhD

Department of Project Management Technology
Federal University of Technology

Owerri, Nigeria


Abstract

Time and cost performances have been and are still the main criteria for judging project success. So their management is critical to avoid overrun of any sort which may result to project failure. This study focused on the analysis of time and cost performance of projects in Rivers state, Nigeria with the aim of determining the level of variations, if any that occurred during the implementation of such projects. Earned Value Analysis (EVA) model was used to analyze the performance data of thirty nine selected projects with respect to their cost and time criteria which show low performance due to high level of cost and time variations witnessed. The study also revealed that most of the projects ended up incurring extra cost than budgeted. Eleven (11) projects out of the thirty nine (39) selected projects met the cost consideration. All the selected projects except four (4) were delayed resulting in time overrun. Based on the findings, the study recommends among others the periodic monitoring of construction project cost and time as a technique to identify and correct any variation before it distorts the project plan.

Keywords: construction projects, earned value analysis model, project implementation, project performance, time and cost variations.

Introductio

Construction of projects is complex undertaken in Nigerian, especially in Rivers state. This is because of certain environmental variables which this study has chosen to identify for corrective purposes. Studies have revealed multiple benefits derived from successfully executed construction projects. Project is therefore seen as a proposal for an investment to increase, expand and/or develop certain facilities in order to increase the production of goods and/ or services in a community during a given period of time

Again for evaluative purposes, a project is a unit of investment, which can be distinguished technically, commercially and economically from other investments. Akpan (2013) explained the term project to connote any unique activity, situation, task , programme, scheme, or any human endeavour in which human, time and other resources are utilized to satisfy a definable and definite one-off (single or multiple) objective, the realization of the set objective generally signals the completion of this unique activity. Furthermore, it was added that the word “completion” as used may not be implicit and could be discriminatory as it can come out to be unsatisfactory completion depending on the set criteria. An unsatisfactory completion connotes that though the project was realized, its realization did not adhere to the set criteria of cost, schedule and quality.

Project development is an integrated process which can be carried out in different and sequential stages such as project preparation, evaluation, selection, execution, etc. With the considered stages of operation, the task of project management in relation to its cost and time management in the specific areas of execution arise. Special focus is centered on how to achieve successful project implementation in Rivers State, and other states in Nigeria.

Since the existence of projects are for development purposes, the assessment of time and cost performances of these projects become very necessary for developing nations, like Nigeria. This laudable arrangement for analyzing time and cost performances in project execution in Rivers State, Nigeria will aid investors and project experts to effectively plan and manage cost and time. This will assist in minimizing cost and time overrun and risks inherent in project management and thereby maximizing values, performances, profits and owners satisfaction as the case may be (Echeme, 2015). The benefits derivable from a successful project management, especially in the area of execution have renowned multiplier effects on the economies of our various societies.

However, dynamic nature of the society and the continuous dwindling of the economy have given rise to a lot of negative feelings to the project experts, their clients and project development agencies in most developing countries regarding whether project success is achievable under an unstable economy. These days many projects are abandoned, those completed were not realized within their planned budget and schedules. Sequel to this, primary investigations have indicated that costs of establishing projects are on the high side to the detriment of investors and all other beneficiaries.

Again, a critical view of the complex nature of the phases of project management with special reference to the project executions have revealed that the construction industries of in Nigeria and other developing countries are really in a mess when compared with their counterparts in developed nations of the world.

The rational for this study therefore is based on the fact that construction projects are being implemented in Rivers state, Nigeria and other states of the nation and a lot of funds are invested in the planning and implementation of these projects in order to improve the developmental efforts of the Government. Despite these investments, the developmental aim seems to be defeated owing to the fact that the citizens are yet to benefit from the impact of these projects. It is believed that most of these projects ended up experiencing time and or cost variations with some being abandoned and some experiencing total failure.

It has been universally agreed that the major parameter for describing an area as developed or undeveloped is based on the availability of social infrastructure. When such basic infrastructure are lacking in an area, it is obvious that such a place is underdeveloped. It is in the bid to provide such basic amenities that the government at various levels strive to improve the livelihood of the people through the provision of such basic infrastructures in form of projects. Despite all the efforts, the implementation level of constructions projects is still low in Nigeria, and specifically, in Rivers state and has not impacted positively on the lives of the people (Echeme & Nwachukwu, 2009).

To streamline the study, specific views are on the analysis of cost and time performance of construction projects in Rivers state. This is aimed at determining the level of cost and time variations, if any, in the implementation of construction projects for decisive purposes. Attempts were also made to determine how to achieve better executions for public building projects in Rivers state, Nigeria. Efforts were directed towards finding lasting solutions.

To achieve these objectives, the following research questions were developed;

  1. What is the level of variations in the implementation of construction projects in Rivers state, Nigeria?
  2. How could these variations be handled to minimize the incidence of project failure and improve the level of successful construction project implementation in Rivers state?

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About the Authors

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Ibeawuchi I. Echeme, PhD

Owerri, Nigeria

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Ibeawuchi Ifeanyi Echeme is a lecturer in the department of Project Management Technology, Federal University of Technology, Owerri. Echeme has a B.Tech, MSc, and PhD in Project Management Technology and have published more than fifteen (15) articles in both international and national reputable journals. Dr. Echeme has published a textbook on Project Time, Cost and Quality Management. He is a Certified Project Director (CPD) and a member of International Project Management Professionals (IPMP). Dr. Echeme has presented papers in conferences and workshops within and outside the country. He can be contacted through; [email protected]. Tel +2348032403835.

 

pmwj49-Aug2016-Echeme-PHOTO2 UCHENNA
Uchenna U. Moneke, PhD

Owerri, Nigeria

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Uchenna Ugochi Moneke is a lecturer in the department of Project Management Technology, Federal University of Technology, Owerri. She has a bachelor degree in Polymer Engineering, an MSc and PhD in Project Management Technology. Engr. Dr. Moneke has more than fifteen international and national publications in reputable journals. She is a certified member of the Nigeria Society of Engineers. A professional registered engineer with COREN and an international and local member of Project Management Institute (PMI). Engr. Dr. Moneke can be reached on [email protected] , Tel. +2348101075158.