Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai has urged the federal government to discard the use of Bills of Engineering Measurement and Evaluation (BEME) for construction projects in the country, describing the document as alien to international procurement standards.
Speaking at the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS) President’s Business Dinner in Abuja, El-Rufai called on federal and state governments to adopt “Bills of Quantities” as the exclusive document for costing of projects in order to ensure that national procurements for infrastructure are in line with global practices.
The governor noted that the current practice in the construction industry where designers are also the cost advisers was wrong, insisting that such a practice was not transparent and should be stopped in Nigeria if the nation truly wishes to move forward.
He said: “In Kaduna State, we have since outlawed Bills of Engineering Measurement and Evaluation (BEME) for all our construction projects. I don’t know where that document came from and we are not going to use it. The best book on measurements all over the world was written by a quantity surveyor and the document used for the costing of all civil and building engineering projects is called the Bills of Quantities (BOQ), so I don’t know where BEME came from.”
He said he was happy that more quantity surveyors are now joining politics and urged members of the institute to seek elective positions so they can be relevant in the scheme of things in the country.
In his speech, NIQS President, Mohammed Abba Tor said the event was put together to give the leaders of the institute the opportunity to brainstorm and map out strategies, which quantity surveyors can engage with the critical stakeholders in the public sector, organized private sector and the general public.
He said the last 50 years of NIQS have been eventful, replete with achievements that are difficult to ignore, adding that the membership strength of the Institute has grown to about 10,000 made up of fellows, corporate members, probationers, technicians, and students.
According to him, the NIQS has signed reciprocity agreement with the Canadian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (CIQS) as part of the current strategic reforms that the Institute is undergoing towards the growth of the Nigerian construction industry.
Tor said with the endorsement by international quantity surveying institutions across the globe, NIQS was now at par with global standards and its members are now acceptable for employment anywhere in the world.
He listed the completion of the new NIQS Head Office Complex in Abuja, the establishment of the QS Academy and the digitization of the institute operations as some of the achievements of the NIQS.
However, he said the quantity surveying profession still faced some challenges, which include the non- adoption of BOQ as the exclusively recognized costing document by Bureau of Public Procurement and MDAs; establishment of quantity surveying department in the public service; lack of involvement of quantity surveyors in government-sponsored projects at initiation and budgeting stages amongst others.
Speaking on the “Stakeholders Engagement and Brand Management for the NIQS” , Hassan Abdul of Media Range Limited, said that the quantity surveying profession needs to evolve and reposition itself to meet the challenges of the next 50 years and also increase its relevance, influence, and reputation.
He said, “ There is a need to reinvent the profession to adapt to the changing realities of modern times. You need to look at the ways to influence the system so that the system would accommodate the profession more”.
Abdul who observed that ineffective budgeting is responsible for the high number of abandoned projects said that the country is urbanizing and there is a need for more projects and an increasing need for the expertise of quantity surveyors.