AN ASSESSMENT OF ELECTRONIC TENDERING IN NIGERIA CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY. A RESEARCH PROJECT MATERIAL ON QUANTITY AND SURVEYING
1.1 Background to the Study
Information and communication technology (ICT) have now made it possible for essential changes in the modes of operation of all businesses and industries throughout the world. It is now a fact that the much-anticipated global village is a reality. The amount of business conducted electronically has reached hundreds of billions of dollars, and there is little doubt that the emergence of the internet is continually revolutionising access to communication and information (Kajewski & Weippert, 2004). The construction industry has been one of the most impacted by these radical changes. Construction industry professionals now aim at paralleling the level of use of ICTs by other industries in the performance of their activities (Ibidapo, 2000). Tendering is one of the aspects of the procurement process where information technology is useful. In spite of the positive benefits e-tendering on the procurement process in the Nigerian construction industry, there are still countless shortcomings (Black et al, 2005).
On the other hand, a serious subject of doubt is that the availability of the facilities necessary for participation in e-tendering by industry practitioners is in question. Most professional practices in Nigeria make use of stand-alone computers running few application packages for word processing and spread sheeting. Stakeholders need to employ an accurate level of proficiency in the use of information technology and communication for effective use of e-tendering. This is necessary since several technicalities are usually involved in forming and managing electronic collaborative relationships between professionals with often-diverse interests and contributions. The necessary requirements in terms of proficiency are far from being met. This is indicative of a gap in skill as mapped out in the work of Oyediran & Kalu (2005).
The use of ICT is usually intended to enable collaboration in construction business processes but it effectively has almost no legal validity even in developed countries. The various forms of contract available for use within the construction industry usually give no indication of the admissibility of electronically exchanged documents in contracts.