Disruptions and Responses within Nigeria Construction Industry amid COVID-19 Threat

Innocent Chigozie Osuizugbo

Abstract


Construction industry is seen as a driver of economic development. Presently, the sector is being confronted by COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 is a novel corona virus with an outbreak of unusual inflammation of the lungs, considered as pandemic, first in Wuhan province of China, and later spread speedily across the globe. The COVID-19 pandemic is not only posing threat to the health and lives of people across the globe but also has contributed to social and economic turmoil. The evolution of the virus brought disruptions that affect the construction industry, and its economic impact is highly uncertain. The current study seeks to better understand the disruptions and responses in the construction industry amid COVID-19 threat. A qualitative research approach was used. Fifteen (15) interviews were conducted to gain insights into the underlying disruptions and responses in the construction sector amid the COVID-19 threat in Nigeria. A purposive sampling method was used where the participants (built environmental professionals) are included in the study to serve a particular purpose. The content analysis of the interview transcripts revealed that transportation problem (for both materials and workers), project abandonment, delay in construction activities, high cost of construction materials, reduction in working hours per day, lack of funding and shortage of workforce were the disruptions in the construction sector of Nigeria during the COVID-19 pandemic. Also, the study findings revealed that temperature checks, hand washing with soap, social distancing, no entry for unauthorised visitors to site, washing of construction equipment and tools with soap and use of personal protective equipment and personal hygiene were the responses in the construction sector during the COVID-19 threat. An understanding of the disruptions and responses in the construction sector amid COVID-19 threat would inform the industry in preparation for future. These information are essential for reshaping the image of the construction industry.

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