Title page    .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .         i

Certification         .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .         iii

Dedication            .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .         iv

Acknowledgement                   .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .         v

Table of contents           .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .         vi

List of tables        .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .         ix

List of figures       .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .         x

Abstract      .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .         xi


1.0     Introduction         .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .         1

1.1     Background of Study     .         .         .         .         .         .         .         1

1.2     Statement of the Problem                  .         .         .         .         .         .         4

1.3     Aim and Objectives       .         .         .         .         .         .         .         5

1.4     Research Questions       .         .         .         .         .         .         .         6

1.5     Scope and Delimitation .         .         .         .         .         .         .         6

1.6     Significance of Study     .         .         .         .         .         .         .         6

1.7     Study Area           .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .         6

1.8     Definition of key terms  .         .         .         .         .         .         .         10


2.0     Literature review .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .         12

2.1     Benefits of supervision .         .         .         .         .         .         .         14

2.2     Role of a site supervisor                   .         .         .         .         .         .         14

2.3     Knowledge skills and abilities of a supervisor     .         .         .         15

2.4     Professionals involved in the supervision of building project .         19

2.5     Relationship between supervision, labor and materials .         .         26

2.5.1 Labor          .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .         26 Factors for improving labor management          .         .         .         .         28

2.5.2    Materials and equipment handling .         .         .         .         .         31 Duties of a materials manager        .         .         .         .         .         .         32 Factors for improving material management               .         .         34

2.5.3 Supervision                   .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .         37

2.6     The concept of supervision on building construction sites      .         37

2.6.1  Supervision during construction       .         .         .         .         .         38

2.6.2 Management         .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .         38

2.6.3 Ensuring safety in building construction sites      .         .         .         52

2.7       Identification of factors affecting supervision      .         .         .         53

2.8       Examination of factors affecting supervision       .         .         .         54

2.9     Effects of good supervision in building construction sites                .         59

2.10   Effects of poor supervision in building construction sites                .         62

         CHAPTER THREE     

3.0              Research methodology   .         .         .         .         .         .         .         63

3.1              Research design    .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .         63

3.2              Types and source of data                  .         .         .         .         .         .         63

3.2.1  Primary data        .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .         63

3.2.2  Secondary data    .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .         64

3.3     Instruments of data collection .         .         .         .         .         .         64

3.4     Study population, sampling technique and sample size          .         .         64

3.4.1 Study population           .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .         64

3.4.2 Sampling technique       .         .         .         .         .         .         .         64

3.4.3 Sample size                    .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .         64

3.5     Data analysis technique           .         .         .         .         .         .         .         65

3.6     Data presentation techniques .         .         .         .         .         .         66



4.0     Data analysis, presentation/discussions     .         .         .         .         67

4.1     Data analysis for research objectives                   .         .         .         .         67

4.2     Whether supervision is carried out in building construction sites              69

4.3     If supervision is effectively carried out in building construction

sites as required   .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .         70

  • To identify and examine factors affecting supervision   .         .         71
  • The effects of lack/poor supervision in construction sites           .         73
  • Solutions to improve the quality of supervision in building construction

Sites           .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .         75


5.0     Summary of findings, conclusion and recommendations                  .         77

5.1     Summary of findings     .         .         .         .         .         .         .         77

5.2     Conclusion           .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .         78

5.3              Recommendations                   .         .         .         .         .         .         .         79

REFERENCES    .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .         81

APPENDIX                   .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .         88


Table 4.0    Statistical data of questionnaire sent and received         .         .         67

Table4.1     Concept of Supervision .         .         .         .         .         .         68

Table 4.2    If Supervision is carried out in Building Construction Sites in

the study area       .         .         .         .         .         .         .         69

Table 4.3     Supervision is Effectively Carried Out in Building Construction

Sites as Required in the study area  .         .         .         .         70

Table 4.4     Factors affecting supervision in building construction sites in the    study area   .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .         71

Table 4.5      Effect of poor supervision in building construction sites       73


Fig 1.1        Map of Nigeria     .         .         .         .         .         .         .         8

Fig 1.2        Map of Edo state .         .         .         .         .         .         .         9

Fig 1.3        Map of Ekpoma   .         .         .         .         .         .         .         10

Fig 2.1        Site Instructions   .         .         .         .         .         .         .         44

Fig 2.2        Extension of time claim .         .         .         .         .         .         47


The importance of supervision and the role of supervisors in a construction site have been in most cases overlooked and undermined by contractors and clients. In most cases, some clients choose to manage and supervise their own projects with limited or no knowledge about supervision at construction sites. The research aimed at appraising or assessing supervision of building projects in Ekpoma, Edo state. The objectives to achieve this aim included, examining the concept of supervision in building construction sites, identifying and examining factors that affects supervision in construction sites, and establishing whether supervision is properly carried out during construction of buildings in the study area. Research methodology adopted was largely survey method which involved data collected, through primary and secondary sources. Primary data was collected through administration of well-structured questionnaires that were randomly administered to professionals in building construction sites. A total of 98 questionnaires were distributed and 85 were received and used for analysis, while secondary data was collected through literature research from textbooks and internet. Results obtained were collated and analyzed using Relative Importance Index (RII). Finding revealed that the basic concept of supervision are to help ensure quality work, ensure resources are effectively utilized, keep records periodically, and ensures that all work done are carried out within specified standard and within building laws and regulation. They also indicated that constant variation, lack of planning and poor communication were factors which were ranked highly as factors affecting supervision in building construction sites, that though supervision of construction projects are carried out in the study area supervision was not effectively carried out as required. The study recommended that there should be effective monitoring of building projects by government agencies in charge of housing development and control to ensure the compliance of supervisors, contractors and developers with the building code, building inspectorate should be empowered as quality assurance team to monitor construction projects and ensure that standards are followed and policy makers should be stricter in penalizing non-compliance to these laws, Education through mass media (i.e. newspaper, television, radio, social networks etc.) to make the general public aware of the importance of supervision of building projects.




Site supervision means the general direction, coordination, planning, implementing and oversight of the on-site work processes. For adequate site supervision, builders must provide a degree of supervision necessary for work on their site to be carried out in conformity to specified standard, within cost budget, stipulated time and safely without risk to health. In order to comply with the stipulated National building code (2006), section which states that “during inspection of any construction operation and unsafe or irregular conditions exists, the code enforcement officer shall notify the owner and direct the owner to take the necessary remedial measures to remove the hazard or violation”, the supervision provided by the builder must be effective, meaning that it is clearly delegated, competent and timely. Supervision is needed in all facets of construction, must be applied in general construction, renovation or extension of building projects including maintenance, re-work (correction of defects) etc.

Supervision starts when work begins on site. The project manager or client employs the supervisor who will be in charge of the building construction site, responsible for managing the construction work and the profitability of all the operations.

There are some professionals involved in supervision of building construction processes bounded by a specific aim which is to produce buildings as specified in the drawing, in conformity to required standard, within cost budget and in a safe environment. These professionals include architects, builders, structural engineers, and building service engineers.

A builder is an academically trained specialist and statutory registered professional responsible for building production management, construction and maintenance of building for the use and protection of mankind. A builder must be a member of the Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB) and Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria (CORBON). The methodology of assembly of materials and labor, management and supervision of all work on site from the inception to completion, the management of the maintenance of the finished product when in use, quality control, quality management planning, demolition of obsolete product (deconstruction), health and safety management, planning and maintainability analysis lies in the safe hands of a builder (Bamisile, 2006).

The professional builder by his training and education possesses the scientific knowledge, technological principles and modern management techniques required in planning, production and management of building projects. His task is to transfer the client’s requirement based on drawings and specifications into building which will function successfully for years. These characteristics place builders as the core supervisors in the construction and building industry.

For supervision to be effective it is ideal that a contractor employs a competent supervisor who is a professional with technical knowledge and skills gained academically and through site based experience with a clear delegated authority to make prompt decisions on behalf of the contract manager, issue directives on matters that could adversely affect construction work and in all other respect act on the builder or contractors behalf in discharging on site responsibilities.

The precise role of a site supervisor depends a lot on the sort of site being supervised, but in most cases the job revolves around managing and instructing staff, setting goals, and seeing projects through to completion. This sort of job is found in different industries. Construction sites are some of the most obvious, but there doesn’t necessarily have to be a new building in order for supervisors to have work to do. The job usually centers on a transition period and ends with the execution of a specific goal, and the supervisor’s main job is to make sure that that goal — whether it’s a construction project, a renovation, or a grand opening — goes according to the client’s specifications.

One of the most important parts of supervision work comes in terms of managing, motivating, and encouraging staff. There are usually a lot more tasks to do than any one person could do him or herself, and supervisors are often the ones who delegate, making sure that the right people are doing the right jobs, and that they’re doing them both properly and on time (Owolabi, 2005). Disciplining and mentoring staff members often go hand-in-hand with this. The skills required for this aspect of the work often include communication and problem solving. Many professionals find this aspect of a supervisor’s job difficult to handle at first, especially if they’ve never held a management position before, but there are a range of short courses and certificate programs that provide training on managing staff to assist with the transition.

Supervisors are often responsible for making hiring decisions, too. Sometimes they inherit projects with staff already in place, but it’s often the case that they themselves are responsible for assembling their teams, either from known employees or contractors or from an open pool of outside applicants.

Another important part of supervision involves keeping projects in line with protocol. There are a couple of different types of protocol that matter. Sometimes governments institute different rules and procedures, for instance, which is common with construction projects, and employers and managers often have internal rules that need to be followed, too. The supervisor needs to be familiar with all relevant processes and procedures, both internal and external. He or she often is required to train staff members or adjust work patterns to keep them up to standard. Most supervisors gain this level of expertise through past work experience. Upon promotion to the role, he or she can recommend changes to the business process that will improve efficiency.

Performance targets are found in almost all industries, and one of the most important parts of the job is getting these set up. The site supervisor communicates the targets to staff members and works with the team to meet and exceed those goals. This can often be done by making changes to business processes and by motivating team members. The supervisor can encourage staff members to exceed their previous performance output by working as a team, though this usually requires at least a certain degree of leading by example.

In most instances the supervisor is the leader or “boss” of the site, but he or she rarely has ultimate control. He or she is almost always accountable to a manager or team of managers and regular reports to these people is often required. The supervisor communicates both positive and negative information to managers and, in turn, shares information from management with the team. This information could include things such as strategic plans, long-term goals, and any other concern. The efficiency of this communication has an impact on staff morale and overall dedication to the work.


The opportunity to achieve a specific quality and standard at a very first attempt can be difficult during construction. Supervision though might seem the less glamorous part of a project work, but in many respect the most important. The importance of supervision and the role of supervisors in a construction site have been in most cases overlooked and undermined by contractors and clients. In most cases some clients choose to manage and supervise their own projects with limited or no knowledge about supervision at construction sites. Unless you are experienced and fully conversant with managing and supervising activities on building and construction sites, this option is fraught of risk. It requires years of site based experience by a builder to effectively supervise a site i.e. the position is tough task. Contract managers may be responsible for the co-ordination of two or more building projects and may not have that time to effectively monitor and control site activities on a daily basis. In order to avoid shoddy works, waste, inefficiencies and disorderliness on site, there is a need for adequate monitoring and supervision of building projects (Zakeri and Obiegbu 2006). Work inspection by the supervisor is an essential process to proceed. For example, the contractor cannot cast concrete before an inspection of the formwork and steel work, thus affecting labor productivity (Zakeri et al., 2006). With non-completion of the required work according to the specifications and drawings, supervisors may ask for the rework of a specific task. Supervisors’ absenteeism stops the work totally for activities that require their attendance, such as casting concrete and backfilling, further delaying inspection of the completed work which, in turn, leads to delay in starting new work.


The aim of this study is to ensure effective project delivery of building projects with a view to achieving the following objectives;

  • To examine the concept of effective supervision in building construction sites
  • To identify and examine factors affecting effective supervision in building construction sites
  • To establish if supervision is effectively carried out during construction of buildings in the study area


  • What is the concept of effective supervision in building construction site?
  • What are the factors that affect effective supervision in building construction site?
  • Is supervision effectively carried out during construction of buildings in the study area?

The scope of this study is limited to building professionals in Esan West Local government, Ekpoma in Edo state. The study will be carried out in Ekpoma where 10 sites have been randomly selected. These professionals will include builders, architects, engineers and clients.


The study will effectively examine the concept of supervision, identify and examine the factors that affect supervision and a study that will help tell whether supervision is properly carried out in building construction in the study area. Supervision has a huge significance in the quality of buildings hence the importance to help future researchers, and professionals to build on and collect information in order to find out more about supervision.


The study area is Ekpoma, the administrative Headquarter of Esan West Local Government Area of Edo State. It lies between latitude of “6044” and “6045” North of the equator and longitude “6006” and “6008” East of the Greenwich Meridian, Ojeifo (2005). The area is bound in the Southwest of Uhumwonde Local Government Area and to the North by Estako West Local Government Area and to the South, Esan South East and Igueben Local Government Area. It also lies on Esan Plateau which is between 400 and 500 meters above Sea level. It is influenced by two climate wind and these are the Southwest and Northeast trade winds. The 2006 National Population Census figure put the population of the area at 125,842. Social service exist in the study area especially in the urban center of the area, it has institutions such as Financial Institutions (Banks), Educational Institutions such as Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Institutions. There are Cultural and Medical Institutions also in the area which provides services to the people.

Ekpoma the study area is made up of several settlements for this study, Ekpoma is restricted to the following communities, Eguare, Iruekpen, Ujiolen, Illeh, Uke, Uhiele, Ukpenu, Ukhun, Egoro, Emuhi. Ekpoma is a tropical region and it enjoys equatorial climatic type characterized by wet and dry seasons. It has an average annual temperature of 240c and an annual rainfall of 1.556mm which do vary from year to year, (Omofonmwan, (2006). Ekpoma is one of the several growing towns on the Esan Plateau. The topography is relatively undulating and has an advantage of easy construction of roads and buildings.