EVALUATION OF E-WORKING ENVIRONMENT WITHIN THE NIGERIAN CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY, CHALLENGES AND PROSPECTS. A CASE STUDY OF ABUJA NIGERIA

Author: Onyia Chukwuebuka Ibebuike
Department: Building
Affiliation: Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka

A major construction process demands heavy exchange of data and information between project participants on a daily basis, this makes the construction industry one of the most information intensive industries, requiring close coordination among a large number of specialized but interdependent organizations and individuals to achieve the cost, time and quality requirement of a construction project. ICT/e-working environment has been shown to be a vital tool in assisting the construction industry in meeting thisdemand, yet very little is known as to its level of adoption, its prospects and challenges within the Nigerian construction industry. This study is aimedat appraising e-working environment within the Nigerian construction industry highlighting its challenges and prospects.Secondary data were collected by a comprehensive review of related literature. These literatures came generally from; (a) various publications of the central, state and local governments; (b) various publications of foreign governments or of international bodies and their subsidiary organizations; (c) technical and trade journals; (d) books, magazines and newspapers; (e) reports prepared by research scholars, universities, economists, etc. in ICT and construction management fields; and (f) public records and statistics, historical documents, and other sources of published and unpublished information. The sources of unpublished data were many. Primary data were collected from the population council of register professionals within Abuja. These professionals were Architects, Quantity Surveyors, Builders and Civil Engineers. Interviews were conducted and questionnaires issued.A total of 286 questionnaires were distributed, and 180 were duly returned representing 62% response. The primary data was analyzed using mean score for ranking, z-test for testing the hypothesis formulated and charts for general presentation.This study observed that the most popular data processing hardware in use within the industry is the Laptop, While Desktops, Notebooks and Smartphone represent the rest of the percentage of the device in use.The study also revealed that most respondent uses e-data exchange systems while the rest of the respondents still use the traditional means of data transfer (hardcopy mails). The study also observed a very low awareness and usage of some of these Internet Integration and communication tools, however with high usage of CADs (Computer Aided Design-software) and other Programing, Presentation and measurement software. It is recommended that professional bodies adopt computer proficiency test as one in the series of tests for professional competence. As they need not be selfish by spending all their earnings on themselves but invest some of their profits in self-development and in the procurement of some of these e-tools for more flexibility in meeting the ever increasing demands of their clients.

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