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1.1 Background of the study
Productivity at both micro and macro -economic level is a serious issue as far as the industrial sector is concerned. Building industry is definitely one of such industries that make very high economic contributions in every nation. The industry usually accounts for, between 6-9% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and over 50% fixed capital formation of both developed and developing nations of the world, (Chitkara, 2006).
Jeremaih (2012) in Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) documentary report wrote “Productivity data is the source of real economic growth and major determinant of a nation’s living standard. A single challenge to many societies is therefore, how to create a condition for rapid and sustained productivity growth especially at organizational and industrial levels. It is in realization of the important role of productivity that many nations of the world have established National Productivity Organizations (NPOs) as part of the strategies to promote productivity in individual enterprises and nations. The primary duty of every NPO is to provide an improved quality of life of the citizenry, promote productivity and competitiveness. It is in view of the poor productivity growth in Africa that Heads of States of countries in African Union, at the 16th Ordinary Session, requested member states to accelerate the implementation of the productivity agenda for African, which include the establishment of NPOs in each member states. In Nigeria, the National Productivity Centre (NPC) was established in 2004 and given the responsibility to research on the productivity of all sector of the economy, under the supervision of Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity. Its mandate include, to formulate and advice on productivity policy that will guide all sectors
of the economy, design and initiate productivity and quality programmes, annual productivity measurement criteria, and provide a reliable data bank on productivity growth of the country etc”.
Building is a creative and developmental venture. In view of these facts more emphasis is placed on the productivity and quality of work produced by Building workers. Incidentally, in the past three decades, after the oil boom of 1970s, the Building industry in Nigeria has been facing serious problem of low productivity. A case study once indicated that except in Lagos and Abuja the former and new capital territories of Nigeria respectively, Building workers have performed poorly in every other state of the federation. The disparity may be deduced from the efficiency of the multinational Building companies operating in the two territories. Also, when compared with the manufacturing sector, it was easy to observe that the productivity problem is more in the Building industry than in the manufacturing industry, which has continued to report rise in productivity for nearly two decades now.
Productivity is actually the measure of individual or collective performance of resource(s) input in an organization or an enterprise. The Building industry resources are, men, materials, machines and money. Of these resources, the most vulnerable and grossly mismanaged in the Nigerian Building industry is the men or Building workers. The present craftsmen, who constitute about 60% of the direct Building workers in every project site, have not shown marked improvement in their performance since the exit of master craftsmen in 1970s. The situation could not be remedied by influx of craftsmen from neighboring countries of Ghana and Bene Republic.
Many genuine investors, developers, designers, and Building managers, have continued to indicate their serious concern on the low output and poor quality of work of this generation of craftsmen, especially on Building projects executed by indigenous contractors. They fear that the continuous decrease in productivity and quality of work by the present crop of Building craftsmen will eventually cripple the industry and its GDP coupled with the current rate of building collapse and road failures. However, it is believed that certain factors are critically responsible for the low productivity and poor quality of work of Nigerian craftsmen employed in indigenous companies. These factors formed the basis of this project study.
1.2 Statement of Problem
Building craft workers’ low productivity and poor quality of work in Nigeria as professionals have continuously indicated result from many factors. These limiting factors range from improper planning and control, inadequate training, lack of motivation, poor welfare management, complexity of work, unavailability of materials, malnutrition, poor leadership, sickness, absenteeism, labour turnover, poor communication and supervision, adverse environmental and climatic conditions etc. All these factors exert varying degrees of limitations and influence on the output of the craftsmen. In this research, the most critical factors affecting the productivity and quality of work of these craftsmen employed in Nigerian indigenous Building companies were investigated.
1.3 Research Questions
i. Can improper planning and poor supervision greatly affect the productivity of Building workers in our indigenous Building companies?
ii. Can poor wages and absent of motivational incentives significantly affect the productivity of Building workers in indigenous Building companies?
iii. Will inadequate education and vocational training greatly affect the quality of work and output of craft workers in indigenous Building companies?
1.4 Aim and Objectives of Study
The aim of this study is to appraise the three major factors affecting the productivity and quality of work or otherwise of the craft workers employed in indigenous Building companies in Nigeria. To achieve this, the following objectives have been set out:
i. To ascertain whether the Building managers of our indigenous Building companies have adequate knowledge and application of the modern planning, supervision and control techniques on labour workforce on project sites that will ensure higher productivity.
ii. To ascertain how often or otherwise the managers use incentives to motivate craft workers for higher productivity.
iii. To verify if the present level of education and training of craftsmen employed in the indigenous Building firms is adequate to ensure quality of work and high productivity.
H01: Improper planning, supervision and control of craft workers activities on Building site significantly affect their productivity and quality of work in indigenous Building companies in Nigeria.
H02: Poor wages and inadequate motivational incentives significantly affect the productivity and quality of work of craft workers in indigenous Building firms in Nigeria.
H03: Inadequate education and vocational training of craft workers significantly affect their quality of work in indigenous Building companies in Nigeria.
1.6 Significance of Study
i. The completed study will highlight the importance for managers of the indigenous Building companies to continually apply modern planning, supervision and control techniques in the management of craft work force for higher productivity.
ii. The study will intimate indigenous contractors the relevance of training and retraining of craftsmen as a sure way to increase their productivity and quality of work.
iii. It will give credence to the success associated with adequate incentives packages to motivate crafts workers for higher productivity and quality of work in Building projects. Our local contractors have not been using incentives for motivation, unlike the multinational Building firms.
iv. The study will add to the body of knowledge on the factors that can really affect productivity and quality of work in Nigerian Building industry.
v. It will encourage building and civil engineering scholars to research further into other factors that tend to limit or affect the productivity of craftsmen.
vi. Finally the study will provide probable solutions to the worrisome problems of poor quality of work and low output pledging our local Building firms.
1.7 Scopes and Delimitation
As highlighted in the statement of problem, the influencing factors on quality of work and productivity of craft workers in our indigenous Building companies are quite many and more than what can be investigated in this study. However, the study will focus on the problems of inadequate workforce planning and control of craftsmen, non-use of motivational incentives on craftsmen and inadequate education and training of craftsmen for higher productivity. The geographical scope of the study is
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