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The demand for and provision of housing is as old as the history of man. Due to the harsh weather condition, wild animals, need for security and privacy, it became necessary for man to provide shelter for himself and members of his family. Though, the type of houses built in those historical times, served its primary purpose of shelter but lacked the modern amenities, as a result of underdevelopment in the society (i.e. society with no industry). Construction processes were limited to the locally available materials, labour and technology. However, with civilization and technological advancement, man was exposed to a new life (i.e. access to modern amenities).

Therefore, in recent times, there are various types of houses as a result of the numerous types of designs by the architects and the houses not only serve the primary purpose of shelter alone, but also have the modern amenities. There are different types of materials, plants and equipments produced to suit the modern constructions. There are also professionals like Architects, Builders, Quantity surveyors, Engineers, among others, trained in their respective field for proper execution of projects. Also, we have the skilled and unskilled labours, who contribute grossly towards the execution of a project. All these are as a result of civilization and technological advancement which have impacted the construction industry. Hence, the construction industry is regarded as one of the largest industries in the world, as it contains the highest number of people, ranging from the clients, professionals, skilled labours, unskilled labours and suppliers of different building materials etc.

Despite all these, abandoned building projects still litters our society, causing problems like security threats, promotion of illegal activities, unemployment, waste of human resources, poor landscaping, etc. Therefore, I will start by defining the abandonment of building project, as an act of giving up or stopping a building project with no intention of returning to it. Nobody initiates a building project for abandonment, because an uncompleted building project is always a source of sorrow to its owner, an unfulfilled hope and aspiration - a failure to achieve a purpose Baden D (2016)

Unfortunately in Nigeria, when projects are abandoned there are no conscious efforts to ensure completion, instead, new projects are embarked upon, putting money, materials, time and effort to waste, and also, causing problem to the nation as whole.

In Nigeria, the situation of abandoned projects is further compounded by the continuous award of new contracts which eventually suffers the same fate Crane A, Matten D (2010)

We must really lay emphasis on the issue of abandonment of building projects, because, it creates a lot of problems for everyone, both within and outside the construction industry and even on the economy as a whole. Likewise, the resources required to execute the projects, which include: labour, equipment, time, material and money, are wasted and the accommodation problem remains unsolved.


In Nigeria today, the landscape is littered with abandoned building construction projects. Therefore, the research work focuses critically into the causes and effects of abandoned building construction projects which have littered the Nigerian landscape. Every nation aspiring to attain development must utilize its resources effectively; develop its industrial base, energy sectors among other things (United Nation, 2006). Unfortunately, Nigeria has suffered a set-back in following these principles to development.

Every year, government announces a huge amount of money to be spent on capital projects, only for all to be put to waste as a result of corruption (e.g. embezzlement), leaving the projects abandoned. Also, both the public and the private sectors experience the abandonment of building projects which makes it pronounced, in the harsh economic climate, in developing countries like Nigeria. As a result of the involvement of the private sector, this has threatened job opportunities, rendering our economic development effort to suffer continuous set-back.

Solving this problem, might really be of help and having a gross contribution to the economic development.       

1.3            AIM AND OBJECTIVES

The aim of this dissertation is on Examination of the causes of construction project  failure and abandonment  in  Nigeria,  A study of Calabar metropolis.

The objectives are:

1.                 To examine the causes of abandoned building projects.

2.                 To examine the effects of the abandoned building construction projects on client, the professional, the contractor in the construction industry and the economy.

3.                 To propose possible solutions.


The Cross River is considered for the study. Hence, this dissertation will be limited to Calabar.


ABANDONMENT is the act of giving up on an idea or stopping an activity with no intention of returning to it (Oxford, 2005).

BUILDING is just like a shelter, which is an enclosure of space for the use and protection of mankind.

PROJECT is a unique Endeavour to produce a set of deliverables within a clearly specified time, cost and quality constraints (PMG, 2003). A project is a series of tasks, which has a start, middle and an end. Therefore, the abandonment of building project can be defined as an act of giving up on or stopping a building project with no intention of returning to it.