The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Bababtunde Fashola, has urged construction experts to ensure that they duly consider costs and risk management when undertaking projects.
He also advised the experts to tailor international laws that suit Nigeria’s needs to reduce conflicts in project execution for economic growth.
Fashola gave the advice at a regional workshop organised by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce International Arbitration Centre, LACIAC, with the theme “Dispute Management in Africa Infrastructure Projects’’.
The programme was put together in collaboration with the Association of Consulting Engineering in Nigeria, ACEN and some law and construction firms.
He said that most Federal Government projects adhered to the International Federation of Consulting Engineers, FIDIC principles, adding that the need to ensure that the FIDIC researches were adapted to local construction needs and policies.
Citing various countries as examples, the minister explained that Nigeria had a land tenure system with ancestral lands or shrines where people were prohibited from building on.
He said the Mambila Power project suffered some setbacks because of several conflicts that led to litigations.
“If we apply international processes, there must be some room to reflect on international diversity and way we do things without necessarily being sub-optimal.“Our land tenure processes, for example, are not exactly the same as that of Europe.
“So, if you bring contracting rules based on land tenure processes of another jurisdiction, it may be sensible to want to adapt them here if you really want to use infrastructure to create growth and wealth,” he said.
The minister said that lawyers sometimes made some project agreement ambiguous and so difficult to understand, adding that adaptation of laws to suit local requirements was important.
Fashola reeled out statistics of cement, stones and other inputs needed for the construction of the second Niger Bridge that would boost revenue in the construction value chain.
He said that 644,000 tons of aggregates, four million cubic meters of sand; 68,000 tonnes of cement and about 21,000 tonnes of reinforcement materials were needed for the construction of the bridge.