1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
It is a known fact that the Nigerian construction industry continues to occupy an important position in the nation’s economy even though it contributes less than the manufacturing or other service industries, (Aibinu and Jagboro, 2002). The contribution of the construction industry to national economic growth necessitates improved efficiency in the industry by means of cost effectiveness and timeliness, and would certainly contribute to cost savings for the country as a whole. It is also common knowledge that the implementation of the construction project in the industry is usually accompanied with time delay and cost increase as well as owner dissatisfaction (Hafez, 2001).
In general most (if not all), construction projects experience time delays and cost overruns during their implementation phase (Koushki and Kartam,2004). Numerous researchers, both in the developed and developing nations have also examined and identified the causes of time and cost overrun in the construction industry. Mansfield, Ugwu and Doran (1994), for example performed a comprehensive analysis of most important factors responsible for project delays and cost overrun in Nigerian construction projects. This analysis indicated poor contract management, financing and payment of completed works, change in site conditions, shortages of materials, design changes, subcontractors and nominated suppliers, other factors were price fluctuation inaccurate estimates, delays and additional works as factors responsible for project delays and cost overrun.
A comprehensive classification of causes of construction delays has also been determined by Henesy (1993). The classification system included materials, labour, equipment and financial constraints, as the main contributory variable to causes of construction time overrun. The list of major factors causing construction delay in Thailand by Ogunlana and Proumkunting (1996) included the inadequacy of resources supplies, client and consultant shortcomings and incompetence. Koushki and Kartan (2004) studied the impact of construction materials on project time and cost in Kuwait and identified the project related variable affecting the on time delivery of materials as material selection, time, type of materials and their availability in the local market.
Time impacts are inevitable on construction projects, primarily because of the uniqueness of each project and the limited resources of time and money that can be spent on planning, executing and delivering the project.
Time factors are inherent in all of project construction’s undertakings. Construction projects have long been recognized as particularly cost, time and risk-laden. Some of the time and cost factors associated with the construction process are fairly predictable or identifiable; others may be totally unforeseen. The constructed project may not perform as anticipated because the owner may have unrealistic expectations regarding the delivery time of construction forcing contractors into unrealistic gambles, corner-cutting or commitments that may not be realistic (Frimpong 2003).
Project success can be defined as meeting goals and objectives as prescribed in the project plan. A successful project means that the project has accomplished its technical performance, maintained its schedule, and remained within budgetary costs. Project management tools and techniques play an important role in the effective management of a project. Therefore, a good project management lies in the management tools and techniques used to manage the project. Project management involves managing the resources—workers, machines, money, materials and methods used. Some projects are effectively and efficiently managed while others are mismanaged, incurring much delay and cost overruns and negatively affecting the economy (Frimpong 2003).