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Background Study

The Nigerian Construction Industry has recorded some impressive numbers over the last few years. For an industry that is still heavily dependent on government expenditure, the Nigerian construction industry continues to occupy an important position in the nation’s economy eventhough it contributes less than the manufacturing or other service industries, (Aibinu&Jagboro, 2002). it is no surprise that the industry is growing at the same time that the government’s revenue is also growing. The building and construction industry is one of the most important sectors of any given economy. The significance of this industry is often measured by considering its impact on the economy through quantities such as its contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and the amount of employment it creates.The construction industry plays a very important role in the socio-economic growth of a country and is therefore considered an agent for national development. It does this by increasing the nation’s gross domestic profit.Construction projects are usually occurring in our daily lives from the construction of residential buildings to commercial buildings. Despite its daily occurrence, it’s considered as the most difficult of humankind endeavours. This is due to the fact that different construction projects require different sophisticated and complex processes for the successful completion of the project. Inorder to successfully complete the project with the consideration of the expected quality of the project, adequate time and money are required. The capital/budget responsible for the duration of the project for the procurement of materials, labour and equipment is to be effectively managed in order to prevent delays in the project and cost overrun. This is where the concept of “Material Management” comes in. Materials management is a process that coordinates planning, assessing the requirement, sourcing, purchasing, transportation, storing and controlling of materials, minimizing the wastages and optimizing the profitability by reducing the cost of materials (Chetna, 2011).Materials management involves the integrated coordination of all material related functions. These functions can be carried out efficiently only when sufficient emphasis is placed on early project planning, use of qualified personnel, adequate personnel training and proper communication amongst those involved in the process (Keitany &Mutwol, 2014).The function of material management begins with the planning phase which involves the identification and determination of required materials that need to be purchased and checking for the availability of such construction material in the required quality and quantity.Construction materials are said to make up a major portion of the total cost of the construction project. According to Khyomesh (2011), 30 to 70 percent of the project cost is consumed by material with about 30 to 40 percent of the labour. As a result of this, material management has been identified as a critical component that improves productivity in construction projects. It is therefore imperative that construction companies involved in construction projects should understand the effects of proper material management towards the successful completion of construction projects.The successful completion of a building project is not totally dependent on material management alone but also depends on having the right people who possess the right skills and equipment that are able to deliver the project on time and within the stipulated budget. It is the work of effective material management to ensure that materials are in the right place at the right time and at the required quality and quantity. But this cannot occur if there is no cash flow and capital to procure the important labour and materials.Due to the lack of material management, most contractors complete construction projects with little or no profit. This is due to the fact that construction projects are usually awarded to contractors with the lowest bid during the tendering process leaving the contractor with little money to work with. With good material management, construction cost overrun can be avoided, profits can be made even with the lowest bid and hence help contractors keep away from fraudulent practices. Ineffective material management for construction projects can lead to significant cost blowouts and delays in project completionThis study shall be of utmost importance to members of the construction industry as it would not only shed light but also create awareness on the extent to which adequate material management can affect the performance of a project positively. Hence, this study seeks to examine ways of achieving adequate material management in the Nigerian construction industry.1.2. Problem StatementConstruction projects success is critically affected by the capacity of the contracting firms, the design variations, the nature of the contract and the economic stability of the location of the project. The construction industry in Nigeria is faced with certain problems ranging from the poor management of materials to misappropriation of funds required for the completion of the projects. This has led to the low productivity of workers in the delivery of construction projects. This study is therefore focused on “Success level in achieving effective materials management” in the Nigerian construction industry for the purpose of improving productivity.Kontangora(1991), in one of his seminar lectures Daily Times 23/8/91,stated that unless the managers in our construction industry improve on theircapabilities in terms of the management of materials, labour and equipment, wewill always have low productivity in the Nigerian construction industry. One of the major problems faced by the construction industry is the construction delay. This may be due to material shortage on-site by unreliable material suppliers. This can occur as a result of poor communication between the supplier and the site supervisor. There are also other causes of delay for instance; Aibinu and Jagboro(2002) argue that the maincause of delay is poor planning. According to Frimpong (2003), poor riskmanagement is to blame while Karimi (1998) argues that lack of experience andintellectual ability among contractors as the main reason. Other causes that havebeen highlighted include; poor organizational culture (Kagiri&Wainaina 2008). However, much research has not been done on material management and its impact on project delivery in Nigeria. Hence, this study, therefore, seeks to identify the causes of ineffective management and ways of achieving effective material management.1.3. Research QuestionsWhat are the roots causes of ineffective material management in Nigeria’s construction industry?Is the poor motivation of workers in the Nigerian construction industry responsible for poor management of materials?

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