A SURVEY OF THE LEVEL OF APPLICATION OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY IN NIGERIAN CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY (A CASE STUDY OF SOME CONSTRUCTION FIRMS WITHIN ABUJA & KADUNA)
Effective planning of construction project is a fundamental of successful delivery and timely completion of project within assigned budget and time constraint . the greater the unplanned departures from logical course the greater the risk of control and possibly ah woks No doubt that application of information technology is progressing at a pace and their influence on working practice can be noticed in almost every aspect of the construction industry The potential of IT application is significant in terms of improving organization performance, management practice, communication and overall productivity.
The purpose of this research work has been to investigate the level of application of planning software in the Nigerian construction industry. Data was obtained through questionnaire administered to professionals in both public and private organization within Abuja metropolis, the information obtained from questionnaires serve as the data that was duly analyzed with simple statistical tools of bar charts, pie chart and graphical representation
The study reveal that there is very good awareness of planning the software but poor applied, also the study reveals that Microsoft project is the most widely used software by professionals. Limitations to application of planning software’s were identified as high acquisition and training cost as well as computer literacy. The research work recommend that an avenue should be created for training staff particularly on the usage and application of planning software, also undergraduate students in construction profession should be taught on how to use the software
BACK GROUND OF THE STUDY
The information technology survey and comparison has been used in some Nordic countries since 1997 with the aim to create method and to perform level maturity of information and communication in construction industries (Samuelson, 2002). As a long- term strategy the survey should be repeatable and comparable over time between countries and cover all categories of firms in the construction industries. The information barometer survey 2003, had been conducted in Singapore, the same strategy is applied which entailed a coverage of all categories of construction firms and a comparison of results between countries in order to draw meaningful conclusion about the degree or level of information communication system, current maturity as at the present level for different firms in the Nigerian construction industry. The Nigerian construction industry is hierarchical and fragmented in nature that some of the major participants do not consider themselves to be part of the same industry (Hindle, 2000).
This requires close coordination among a large number of specialized but interdependent organisations and individuals to achieve cost, time and quality goals of a construction project (Toole, 2003). Hence according to Maqsoods et al (2004), a major construction project demands heavy exchange of data and information between project participants on daily basis Rivard et al (2004), have identified the two vital roles information communication system plays in all construction projects as the specification of the resulting product (design information) and the initiation and control of activities required for constructing the facilities management information.
Design consultants (Architects, Engineers, and quantity surveyors) acting as professional advisers to the clients are largely responsible for the production and dissemination of both the design and management of information among the various projects participants. According to Mohammed and Stewart (2003), the majority of construction process information is heavily based upon traditional means of communication such as face to face meeting and the exchange of paper documentation in the form of technical drawings, specification and site instruction.