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nerPostTitle">LAGOS SAYS INCOMPTENCE HAMPER PROJECTS' DEVELOPMENT Written by furtune Business Mar 2, 2010

Lagos says incomptence hamper projects' development

By Elisha Bala-Gbogbo
March 2, 2010 12:37AM Private Partnership can finance the much needed national infrastructure such as this. Photo: SUNDAY ADEDEJI

The Lagos State government has identified the absence of country-wide monitoring and reporting processes, lack of formal planning of project work streams, backlog of work constraining capacity and poor communication across functional streams of the government as key challenges facing national project management in the country.

Jide Sanwo-Olu, commissioner of establishment, pensions and planning, made this assessment while delivering the key address at the 2010 Project Management Summit organised by Digital Jewels, which ended in Lagos last week.

Mr. Sanwo-Olu discussed project management from a national perspective using Lagos state as a case study.

Not viable
'Lack of formal process to agree and initiate projects, lack of commercial business case associated with a project before beginning, and unclear accountability and responsibility for project ownership are some of the major challenges faced in Nigeria today,' the commissioner said. 'Also, there's the concern that political interests drive projects rather than viability.'

He added that there is no defined system in place that identifies projects which have a significant impact on the society. He also mentioned as a problem the lack of clarity and understanding around project related roles such as Project Sponsor and Project Manager, inadequate involvement and consultation with stakeholders, and 'generally, project management practice and capacity in the country is limited.'

Adedoyin Odunfa, chief executive officer, Information Value Chain Consultants, Digital Jewels, organisers of the summit, said, 'Nigeria has no comprehensive view, data, or statistics of national project management track record. What exits indicates an abundance of projects that failed to meet stakeholder expectations on one, some or all of the triple constraints where attaining project scope within the tripod of timeliness, cost, and quality expectation.'

Taking the National Independent Power Project (NIPP) as a case study, Mr. Sanwo-Olu said the project's due diligence was not rigorous and 'cradle to grave planning' was not carried out consistently.

'Project scoping and business case, procurement, operations and maintenance, and detailed feasibility study which covers technical, economic, financial and legal was not done consistently,' he said. 'There was lack of effective planning, for example some turbines could not be moved over bridges to some locations, gas supply was not checked for adequacy and if gas master plan could support the project, gas grid was not available in some locations to feed the plants, and gas quality was not evaluated (wet gas or dry gas)'.

The Lagos experience
Some key projects in Lagos State that have been successful from a project management perspective include the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), which was delivered in 2008. The BRT scheme is the first of such to be delivered through Public-Private Partnership (PPP) in sub-Saharan Africa, the commissioner claimed.

Another notable project management success is the 12MW Akute Power Independent Power Plant (IPP) with Oando Plc, also under the Public Private Partnership arrangement.

According to Mr. Sanwo-Olu, these projects were successful as a result of 'top level political commitment, active involvement and consultation with key stakeholders, clear output specification, and thorough needs analysis.'

He continued: 'Also a key factor was that best practice project management and collaborative governance model was employed. This model provided the Lagos state government with transparency and strategic control whilst not diminishing vendors' operational responsibility. As a result, the projects were delivered within costs and acceptable timelines.'