Appraisal Of The Implication Of Delays In Construction Project Delivery In Owerri


The Principle objective of this project is on Appraisal Of The Implication Of Delays In Construction Project Delivery In Owerri. The study delimited itself my limiting the scope into the roads maintained /constructed by the Setraco construction company in Owerri. This was deeply looked at by taking into account four major objectives that included: to establish the extent to which construction project financing influence the delay of construction projects in the road sector, to investigate the extent to which construction project planning influence the delay of construction projects in the road sector, to find out the extent to which Contractor’s experience influences the delay of construction projects in the road sector, and ,to investigate the extent to which supervision of work influences the delay of construction projects in the road sector. The study employed a survey research design, since it was an in depth investigation of an individual group of respondents. The questionnaires were used as the main source of gathering information from selected 55 respondents that cut a cross categories like Contractors, Surveyors, Engineers and many more. These questionnaires were emailed to some respondents; others were dropped and picked later while some were administered by research assistants. Questionnaires were sorted out, data keyed in into the SPSS for analysis. This information then was presented by use of frequency tables. From the hypothesis testing using the Chi-Square, the calculated Chi-Square values were found to be greater than the critical value of 9.488 thus the alternative hypotheses were adopted in all the four cases as per the objectives. Findings have shown that there is a significant link between the objectives discussed in the literature review and what is seen in chapter four and as it is entirely proven by the hypothesis that has been tested. Therefore, from the findings on the first objective that aimed at establishing the extent to which construction project financing influence the delay of construction projects in the road sector and the responses gotten showing that, 5 respondents agreed with the idea that the road projects have been allocated enough finances, 45 went for no while those who were not sure made 7.4% of the responses, bringing the total to 4 respondents. First and foremost, the study recommends that the federal government should increase the budgetary allocation to Setraco construction company. Secondly, the study recommends that Setraco construction company should undergo proper and checked planning at all levels in order to achieve timely deliveries. The third recommendation is that the experience of the contractors should be scrutinized, their track records be well understood and proper procedures of testing these contractor’s experience be checked. Finally, the study recommends that supervision should be continuous and in fact it should be made a daily activity. Absentee supervisors shouldn’t be even allowed to take part in any road construction in the country.






  • Background to the Study

According to Aon (2012), a project refers a series of task, arranged in a defined sequence or relationship that produces predefined output or effect and it always has a start and an end. In his writing, Aon looks at a project like a football hit from one point of the goal and aimed at achieving the objective immediately it enters the opponent’s goal; adding up to a score. He goes ahead to define the other major element of projects implementation that is called Construction Project Management (CPM). He defines Construction Project Management (CPM) as an approach used in the construction industry with the aim to increase the efficiency and effectiveness in performance in the management and coordination of a project during its lifecycle. Most construction projects usually suffer delay and surpass the outlined contract sum (World Bank, 2014). The result of such overrun can at time lead to abandonment of a project. Ideally projects are supposed to run continuously without delays and the responsibilities to keep this in check lies squarely with the project manager and other stakeholders who are linked directly with the projects. Within the project team there should be an outlined strict mechanism discouraging parties to the project from laxity that may lead to stalling or delays (Oyewobi, et al.2011).

In my study, the major projects am going to look into are infrastructural projects. Infrastructure can be categorized into “hard” and “soft” infrastructure. The former refers to physical structures or facilities that support the society and economy, such as transport (ports, roads and railways); energy (electricity generation, electrical grids, gas and oil pipelines); telecommunications (telephone and internet) and, basic utilities (water supply, hospitals and health clinics, schools, irrigation). The latter refers to non- tangibles supporting the development and operation of hard infrastructure, such as policy, regulatory, and institutional frameworks; governance mechanisms; systems and procedures; social networks; and transparency and accountability of financing and procurement systems (Oyewobi & Ogunsemi, 2010). Globally, infrastructure is an important factor in the development of a nation through its direct and indirect contributions to economic growth. According to a World Bank (2014) the following three factors of infrastructure fosters economic growth: infrastructure directly or indirectly reduces costs in the production process, infrastructure induces structural change which influences production and consumption trends; and infrastructure contributes to sources of income and better income levels.


However, reports across the developed and LDCs has shown the construction projects like roads and other infrastructures have been faced with a major common problem of ‘delays in delivery.’ According to Nyamwaro (2011), Construction project delivery is affected by many factors. Every investor wants to be sure of the project time and cost. This is because challenges that may affect project completion have far reaching effects ultimately on the owners’ interest. Chism and Armstrong (2010) in study carried in USA aver that in the current economic landscape, project owners are scaling down or eliminating capital construction projects due to lack of financing, uncertainty over costs, and concerns about potential delays that could impact the feasibility basis of projects. While in a study carried out in the UK Fapohunda and Stephenson (2010) state that in construction, conflicts exists between the projects’ stated objectives with regard to the appropriateness of cost time and quality. They also identify the distinct knowledge management areas for project managers’ efficient performance to include among others project time management which includes providing an effective project schedule for project delivery besides actually delivering on the schedule.

Chism and Armstrong (2010) for example studied the construction of the proposed road network in the Illinois states that was to be funded by the US government and the county development assembly between 1994 and 1999. They discovered that the road prolonged by 3 more years; meaning additional expenses/overrun coasts, negative impact to the community and political repulsion from the Democrats. They cited two major caused of this delay as those coming from the natural environment (Hurricane Katrina, hails stones, ice caps, extreme cold weather etc.) and human caused factor ( insufficiency of financial resources, change in technology, politics etc.). McNair (2011) referring to the Australian context of applying EPC contract advances the importance of a contractor delivering a complete facility for a guaranteed price and by a guaranteed date. He looked at the construction of feeder roads in the city of Newcastle and argued that, up to 30% of the projects failed due to weather situations that faced the cold desert continent between 2000 to 2005, the political indifferences between the upper house and the construction industries, newly adopted technology from China, expertise demands, financial constrains due to the economic crisis of the millennium and many more. He further observed that failure to achieve this completion of roads construction will usually result to a contractor incurring monetary liabilities. The subject of completion of project is therefore a universal concern that affects all parties to a construction project (Musa, 2012). It is thus in the interest of the project management as an emerging profession to address all the factors that affect completion of construction project. The contractor usually has a limited ability to claim additional money which is limited to the circumstances where the project company has delayed the contractor or has ordered the variation of the works (McNair, 2011).


In a study carried out in Johannesburg South Africa, Ahmed, Azhar, Castillo and Kapagantulla (2012) state that delay of roads construction projects in all the cities and slums of SA are indeed a universal phenomenon. They are also most always accompanied by cost and time overruns. Roads Construction project delays in South Africa just like any other countries further have a debilitating effect on all parties (owner, contractor, and consultant). It is therefore correctly deduced that factors affecting construction project completion is a study of interest to all parties. This in agreement with Karim & Marosszeky (2012) observation that project delays have been a topic of concern in the construction industry. In their studies, they for example observed that up to 45% of the roads upgrading projects in troubled Soweto slums were not delivered in time between 2004 to 2009 due to factors that ranged from: political disagreements especially when refugees from Zimbabwe infiltrated into the country, Thabo Mbeki’s failure to command the majority votes in the ANC that could favour him in allocating this project funds, the regular strikes by mines led the partners walk away in the view of bad governance, corruption, low level of technology applied in construction industry etc. According to The World Bank (2014), the political issue-especially-with the uprising Malema and his opposing youths has left up to 30% of roads unattended because the youths feel that the tenders were irregularly awarded.

Hussin and Omran (2011) state that in Nigeria, seven out of ten roads construction projects in Borna and Kano Plains surveyed suffered delays in their execution. Also Fugar & Agyarkwa (2010) observed that in Nigeria 5-10% of construction pre-contract cost is based on contingency. This has been found inadequate which means extra financial commitments occasionally beyond the capacity of the owner. Clients are sometimes not prepared for this and so fund in terms of loans are sought to offset this additional costs. It is in this agreement that Chiocha (2011) argues in his book, ‘Corruption and its effects on the development of the construction industry in Nigeria’ that, up to 78% of the roads in rural Nigeria and its northern part will be under dust for the coming 15 or more years because of factors that can be controlled like: corruption from the local chiefs (Ogas), governors, federal government, NGOs and many more. In his writing, Chiocha tends towards the argument that up to 60% of the roads have failed to meet deadlines due to corruption that leads to poor contractual  awards, misappropriation of little funds, poor expertise selection, poor technology employment and many more.

In a study carried out to examine roads construction projects performance in Sudan, Omran (2012) observe that despite large number of reported cases, construction ranging from the simplest to more complex roads projects platforms have increasingly experienced cost overruns due to silly delays that could be prevented up to 95%. This phenomenon is also similarly observed in Ghana and Uganda where Gaba (2013) observes that studies reveal increase in cost overruns, delayed completion,


unsatisfactory and unmet roads project objectives in most construction projects. While investigating the subject of roads projects delays in Sudan and Uganda, Olatunji (2010) observes that it is a phenomenon that can be attributed to the inability of the client/his representative and the project team to have a comprehensive view of the construction project from inception to completion. Aibinu and Jagboro (2012) state that construction delay has become endemic in Nigeria, Sudan, Uganda, Eritrea etc. Delay they found out had significant impact on completion cost and time of 61 building projects studied.

In Nigeria, building and construction industry has been robust (Nigeria facts and Figures, Nigeria Federal Bureau of Statistics, 2012). Foreign investors have shown a lot of keenness to have a stake in Nigeria considered a business hub in east and central Africa and a center from which they can operate within Africa. As a result of this, major cities like Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu and their environs have witnessed a boom in construction projects especially those addressing locomotive infrastructure. These projects are government, private individuals, private companies and interfederal businesses and institutions sanctioned. Remarkably is the Thika super highway. In his research about roads infrastructure in Nigeria, Mbogo (2011) argues that, Road construction industry plays a major role in development and achieving the goals of the Nigeria’s society. Roads Construction is one of the largest industries and contributes to about 10% of the gross federal product (GNP) in industrialized countries (Maxwell, 2012), and 6.1% LDCs like Nigeria. Construction industry has complexity in its nature because it contains large number of parties as clients, contractors, consultants, stakeholders, shareholders and regulators. The performance of the construction industry is affected by federal economies (Kikwasi, 2012).

A report done by the GoK (2012) and Work Bank (2013), In Nigeria, the construction of Thika Superhighway for example which was set to be completed in the year 2011 was realized a year later. The deadline was moved twice resulting in both cost and time overruns. The project cost kshs.7 billion more than the original budget. Major citations of the factors of delays were not limited to: political differences and heat in the coalition government, lack of community involvement ,bad weather conditions as a result of el-Niño rains of 2011/2012, poor technology that came from the local sub-contractors, economic fluctuation; owing to the factor that the project was never hedged etc. A closely cited project that was never completed in time due to the issue of financial resources and technology (GoK, 2013) is the construction of Greenfield terminal at Jomo Nigeriatta Interfederal Airport, that had its start date postponed several times which make the project far behind its schedule at the moment (The Quantity Surveyor and Construction Claims, 2011). This had an overall negative impact to the government which lost almost Ksh.98, 324,900 as inconvenience adjustments.


A feature of road Construction Firms in the Mombasa is that, they are often believed to be one-man enterprises, having low financial and capital base and also lacking the requisite managerial skills to adequately face up to the numerous and difficult challenges they constantly have to encounter in a typical developing economy such as Nigeria’s (Chilipunde, 2010). Due to this lack of enough expertise and lack of sufficient financial resources, there is a number of roads constructions/maintenance that has stalled for ages now. In his writing, Waihenya (2011) argues that the delay in implementation of development projects like roads, electricity, water and sewerage projects in the Nigeria’s coast date back to the Arabs and Portuguese infiltration into the region who made the region dependent on the ideas of the masters, live at their comfort zones, reject any European associated technology and be in constant religious repulsion among themselves. His has been a challenge for example for the roads construction sector to get enough support from the community in terms of expertise, dedicated laborers, modern technology, necessary development resources, political support and many more.

Official statistics indicates that, indeed, these so-called small firms represent over 95% of contractors operating in the Nigeria’s economy (Ahadzie, 2011). In Nairobi County for example, most contractors, particularly road contractors have shown a lot of interest in the sector. Although, most of these firms have been performing minimally but they have an impact in Nairobi than Mombasa. In Mombasa, 20% of the local construction firms are owned by the local Arabs and Swahili community while the Mijikenda community shares only 5% and the greater percentage is left to the foreign companies from established towns and cities like Nairobi (Chai & Yusof, 2013).

  • Statement of the Problem

Many road contractors whether from the government agencies or limited local firms have failed or perform minimal in their performance, particularly in maintenance of road. The criticism against their performance has attracted the government attention forcing it to come up with performance contract and even settling the authority to oversee the contractors ‘performance’. However, according to government of Nigeria (2012) the poor performance of the road contracts is due to poor management of funds and poor delivery of services to the road user. In addition, performance measurement systems are not effective or efficient to overcome this problem. Road contractor’s performance problem appears in many aspects, ranging from fail in time performance, cost performance and others fail in other performance indicators. Ugwa and Haupt (2007) opined that the failure of any road contractor is mainly related to the problems associated with resource management and even political interferences. Moreover, there are many reasons and factors which attribute to this problem including poor management of the minimal resources available, low levels of technology that make the whole exercise very expensive, politics and many more.

In Nigeria, there are many road contractors who have failed in performance. In the past, many road projects were finished with poor performance because of many contractors’ reasons such as: obstacles by client, non-availability of materials, roads closure, amendment of the design and drawing, additional works, waiting the decision, handing over, variation order, amendments in Bill of Quantity and delay of receiving drawings (Wambugu, 2013). For example, project of rehabilitation of Waiyaki highway finished with problems in both of time and cost performance (GoK, 2010). In addition there are other indicators of performance such as project managers, coordination between participants, monitoring, and feedback and leadership skills. However, there are three important issues related to failures and problems of performance in Nigeria which are economic, environmental and socio-cultural issues like politics. Local studies done by Musa (2012) on effects of total quality management on performance of Companies in Nigeria a case study of  Julius Berger Company Limited. He found that human resource management and resource management affects performance of the building company to a great extent.

Purpose of the Study

The study seeks to investigate determinants of projects completion in the construction industry; the case of selected road projects implemented by Nigeria Federal Highways Authority in Owerri Municipal .

  • Objectives of the Study

The objectives of the study were:


  1. To establish the extent to which construction project financing influence the delay of construction projects in the road
  2. To investigate the extent to which construction project planning influence the delay of construction projects in the road
  3. To find out the extent to which contractor’s experience influences the delay of construction projects in the road
  4. To investigate the extent to which supervision of work influences the delay of construction projects in the road
    • Research Questions

The research was guided by the following questions:


  1. To what extent does construction project financing influence the delay of construction projects in the road sector?
  2. What is the extent to which construction project planning influence the delay of construction projects in the road sector?


  1. To what extent does the contractor’s experience influences the delay of construction projects in the road sector?
  2. What is the extent to which supervision of work influences the delay of construction projects in the road sector?
    • Study Hypothesis

The study was guided by the following alternative hypothesis:


  1. H1: Construction project financing has a significant influence in the delay of construction projects in the road
  2. H1: Construction project planning has a significant influence in the delay of construction projects in the road
  3. H1: Contractor’s experience has a significant influence in the delay of construction projects in the road
  4. H1: Supervision of work greatly influences the delay of construction projects in the road sector.
    • Significance of the Study

This study will help construction professionals increase the success of construction projects completion by managing well the factors that will help their successful completion. The architects, engineers, quantity surveyors, construction project managers and site agents may benefit from this study by applying the results of its findings while carrying out construction projects.

The government will be aware of the factors that cause delay in roads construction projects and ways of addressing those delays so as the roads construction process is harmonized therefore efficiency in the production of this gold infrastructural facility.

Project developers/clients may also benefit from the findings of this study and therefore achieve greater success in their construction projects. This is because they may apply the findings of this study in ensuring the risk factors that may cause their projects not be delivered successfully are mitigated.

  • Limitations of the Study

This study was faced by the challenge of time which was a constraint. Time between studies, research and work were somewhat competing, though extra time was sought to compensate for this. The study also was faced with the challenge of inadequate budget. The unavailability of budget also negatively affected the study. Therefore an alternative source of finances was sought.

  • Delimitation of the Study

The research study limited itself to roads construction projects in Owerri under Setraco construction company in the Nigerian. It further selected only five projects from the Owerri municipal  that have had their projects delayed for a long time.


Definitions of Significant Terms

Construction project completion-this refers to successful carrying out of a construction project as per the time agreed to in the contract agreement and as captured by the project schedule, within the budget and design scope.

Project- an overall task which has a definable beginning and definable end, it consists of a number of related and dependent activities, all of which utilize resources and upon which there are imposed internal and external conditions.

Project delay- The delay referred to in this study is the failure of government road construction projects to meet standards, to reach target group, cost and time overruns.

Project financing- this refers to the ways that a client provides the funds that cater for the cost of design, planning, labour and approvals required to ensure the construction project is successfully carried out.

Project performance- This is an aspect of project accomplishment in regard to the subjective matter of the client and the public at large.

Project planning- this involves, looking ahead and developing objectives, programs, schedules, budget and procedure that help in delivering construction project.

Supervision of work- this refers to the actions taken by the project team leadership in ensuring that the project is carried out as per the specification. The aim is to ensure that the construction project plan is successfully implemented and any difficulties experienced during implementation are appropriately addressed.

  • Organization of the Study

This research report is organized in five chapters. Chapter one is the introduction which includes the background of the study, statement of the problem, purpose of the study, objectives of the study, research questions, statement of the problem, purpose of the study, objectives of the study, research questions, research hypothesis, significance of the study and the definition of significant terms. Chapter two of the study consists of the literature review with information from other articles which are relevant to the researcher. Chapter three entails the methodology to be used in the research. Chapter four has given the insights of data analysis, the findings and discussions of the study. Then lastly in chapter five, the study has given a summary of findings, discussions, conclusions and recommendations.

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