Up to 80% of large infrastructure projects in Kenya are delivered late and over-budget according to a new report from Mace, a consultancy firm and the construction company behind iconic projects such as the London 2012 Olympics, Kenya’s Garden City development in Nairobi and Dubai Expo 2020 along with Kenya projects such as the. This means benefits are also delayed or under-realized.
The delays usually come at a significant cost to tax payers. The experts estimate that at current rates, tax payers are expected to foot a KSh. 200 billion bill on average every year until 2030 as a result of the delayed project deliveries.
According to the Mace Insights report, which interviewed over 40 executives, large projects flop due to a number of reasons. These include the lack of clarity of project outcomes as decisions are made politically rather than from cost-benefit analysis, inadequate cost estimation capabilities by project teams in the early stages, and procurement rules based on ‘cheapest price’ rather than ‘value’ i.e. on large and complex projects, lowest bidder could be economically counterproductive.
Mace who have delivered some key projects in East Africa including the Two Rivers mall and the Acacia Mall in Kigali, suggest addressing concerns with Kenyan infrastructure projects. These include creating a single government department for large projects to improve decision-making and efficiency, creating an independent scrutinizing body to challenge the project scope, timescales and costs, and thirdly providing high-quality practical training to current government employees on especially on risk and probability.
“The delivery of infrastructure in Kenya is key to continue to enable economic growth across the country. As population pressures on our urban centres grow, we must keep pace with our infrastructure delivery. The Government rightly has ambitious plans for huge infrastructure projects across the country, but if we can’t deliver them effectively we risk huge costs for Kenyan taxpayers,” said Simon Herd, MaceYMR’s Director for Kenya.