Project Management Project Topics

The Causes of Project Abandonment in Higher Institutions of Learning

The Causes of Project Abandonment in Higher Institutions of Learning

The Causes of Project Abandonment in Higher Institutions of Learning

Chapter One


The aim of this study is to determine the causes and effects of abandoned building projects in Higher Institution of Learning and to propose possible solutions.

The objectives are:

  1. To examine the causes of abandoned building projects.
  2. To examine the effects of the abandoned building projects on client, the professional, the contractor in the construction industry and the economy.
  3. To propose possible solutions to the issues of building project abandonment in Higher institutions.




According to Olapade & Anthony (2012), in Nigeria today, the landscape is littered with abandoned buildings projects. They further stated that, abandoned building projects can be described as the project that has started at an earlier date, but the construction work stopped for one reason or the other. This phenomenon is not limited to building projects, also observable in; roads, industrial structures, bridges, factories, dams, electricity, and communication projects.

According to Akindoyeni (2018), it is difficult to believe that projects conceived to meet some important needs could be abandoned without remorse in spite of the huge amount voted into it, depicting a worrisome practice over the last decades of Nigeria’s history. Akindoyeni (2018), continued by stating that, under normal conditions, neither the client nor the contractor would ever admit to the intentional suspension of construction project. He went further to state the aim and objective of construction development which is to satisfy definitive needs, either for accommodation, some physical facilities (water, energy etc.), transportation, communication or any other purpose essential to life and comfort of man.

Studies by Kolawole (2016) have shown that a good number of building project initiated with good intentions are abandoned at different stages of the design and construction process. These form the antithesis of the development concept.


In execution of any project, there are parties involved in one activity or the other, playing their roles from the inception stage to the completion stage and the parties involved include; clients, architects, builders, quantity surveyors, land surveyors, engineers, etc. According to Onwusonye (2002), who classified the parties into two groups, namely;

  • The professional team.


A client is a person who uses the services or advice of a professional person or an organization (Oxford, 2015). Client; whether public or private, as the one who owns and finances the projects from own resources or from other sources of external financing (Onwusonye, 2002).

Also, we should not forget that private clients can be an individual or partnership and most of their projects are for their own use. Likewise, for the public clients, this ranges from ministries, agencies of the federal government, down through states and local government entities, to a multiplicity of boards, commissions and authorities (Clough, 2012).


A professional is a person with an approved standard of professional practice, high level of education and orientation. According to Wikipedia (2021), a professional is a member of a profession. The team also describes the standards of education and training that prepare members of the profession with the particular knowledge and skills necessary to perform the role of that profession. In addition, most professionals are subject to strict codes of conduct enshrining rigorous ethical and moral obligations. Professional standards of practice and ethics for a particular field are typically agreed upon and maintained through widely recognized professional associations.

The architects, builders, engineers, quantity surveyors, land surveyors, etc. make up the professional team and due to the nature of the work, everyone has a major role to play in the construction industry, any omission in the efficient execution of project may lead to delay or abandonment of building projects.





This study employed a descriptive survey method. This method was deemed appropriate because there was a need for the researcher to collect information from sampled respondents.



The population consists of professionals within the construction industry, which includes; the clients, architects, builders, engineers etc. The target population of the study are professionals within the construction industry, carrying out construction projects in the University of Uyo, Uyo, Akwa Ibom state.


Sample size is the total number of the population that has been selected, having the attributes of the study to be carried out (Ugofunle, 2007).


In this project, a total number of thirty (30) questionnaires were administered to relevant professionals in construction industry and clients within the University of Uyo, in which twenty-seven (27) were retrieved. A convenient sampling technique was adopted for the construction firms and the school administration based in University of Uyo. This is due to the short distance between the researcher and the concentration of the case study and considering the time frame and the state, knowing full well that there are quite a number of towns in the state. Therefore, three towns were chosen, as said earlier in the introductory chapter.


The major source of data will be primary which will be from questionnaire administration to gather the required information from the clients and the professionals in the construction industry, so as to fulfill the aim and objectives.

The questionnaire consists of 5% open ended questions and 95% close ended questions. There are three (3) parts in the questionnaire; part A gives a general particulars of the respondents, part B deals with the assessment of the factors responsible for the abandoned building projects and part C deals with the effects of abandoned building projects and likely solutions.




This chapter deals with the data analysis and the result collected from the questionnaire, through the survey that was carried out in the University of Uyo.




This study has shown factors which contribute to the causes of abandoned building projects in the University of Uyo, especially the various activities of the parties within the construction industry which include withdrawal/late honouring of certificates of payment, breach of contracts, indiscrimination award of contracts and corruption on the part of the public clients and also, the failure of the client to make fund available.

Furthermore, the study also reveals the role of consultants in abandoned projects, which include; producing drawings, assessing client’s financial capacity, specifications and modification. These tends to pose a great task if relevant safety measures are not put in place and creating problems for the contractors to cope with, which may eventually lead to project abandonment in the University of Uyo.

Also, the role of contractors in project abandonment in the University of Uyo is also reveal, which are lack of proper coordination of subcontractors and other specialist firms, lack of schedule of plants, equipments and materials, poor management skills, improper supervision of structural works, technical deficiency and lack of good incentive scheme. All these must be checked to reduce project abandonment in the University of Uyo.

In the course of the study, it was discovered that the abandonment of building projects also have effects on clients, consultants, contractors, the economy and the society at large. Therefore to reverse the effects proper measures must be taken by the clients, professionals and the government, in order to improve the society.

In conclusion, the majority of the respondents are of the opinion that there is need to know the clients financial capacity before embarking on any project. There is also need for the architects to be on site to monitor the progress of work and making sure it conforms to plan. Some of the respondents also stated that the parties involved in the construction industry (i.e. the clients, consultants and contractors) should try and fulfill their agreement to the last letter, government should ensure accessibility to fund by both public and private developers in all our financial institutions and cost of building materials should be reduced by government policy.


The research suggested the various means by which all the causes and effects of abandoned building projects in the University of Uyo in the construction industry can come to an end. This includes;

  1. Client’s financial capacity should be known before embarking on any project.
  2. Architects should ensure proper monitoring of progress of work and making sure it conforms to plan.
  3. The parties involved in the construction industry (i.e. the clients, consultants and contractors) should try and fulfill their agreement to the last letter.
  4. Government should ensure accessibility to fund by both public and private developers in all our financial institutions.
  5. Cost of building materials should be reduced by government policy.


  • Akindoyeni, A.O. (2018): Management of abandoned project, being a seminar paper presented to Nigerian Institute of Building conference in Kano 2018.
  • Akuta, C.V. (2019): Inconsistent policies and high rate of abandoned government projects. Nigeria News. Retrieved February 14, 2011, from
  • Baje, A.O. (2013): Appraising Nigeria’s economic reforms. An article culled form daily times of august 30, 2013.
  • Barwell C.C. (2017): Logistics of managing construction resources, the construction Journal of Federation of Building and Civil Engineering contractors. Vol. 2, October 3, 2017: pp 2 – 5.
  • Clough, R.H. (2012): Construction contracting, John Wiley and son, London.
  • Ewa, U.E. (2015): The Budgetary process and educational development – Emphasis on how to avoid abandoned projects. Education Tax fund workshop on financing education in Nigeria.
  • Frisch, D. (1996): The effect of corruption on development full text of an article from the courier ACP-EU, No.158, July – August, 1996: pp 68 – 70.
  • Fugar, F.D.K and Agyakwah-Baah, A.B. (2010): Delays in building construction projects in Ghana, Australasian journal of Construction Economics and Building.
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