All the shame and sham of some greedy contractors is hereby unveiled. I feel particularly compelled to write this article because, among others, there  is a wave of confusion among our esteemed clients and high-level of distrust. They have lost all trust for   contractors even though there may still be those who are genuine and does not exploit their clients. Following are the different techniques counterfeit contractors employ to dupe their clients:

1.       Deliberate increase of cost of materials: when they observe that you have little knowledge of the prevalent price of materials in the market place, then they are set to put a big hole in your pocket and just put a bowl beneath it so that it pours into it. About four months ago a friend of mine related to me how a London based Nigerian citizen, precisely a lady in her mid-sixties who have spent well over twenty years in London, came back to her beloved country Nigeria to erect some structures. She contacted her lawyer and informed him of her plans. Thus the lawyer contacted a seemingly  honest but wolf –in- sheep- clothing friend to handle the contract. Having realized that the client was well loaded with cash coupled with the fact that the client lacked the Nigerian blood flowing through her veins (she had complete trust on the contractor ) the so-called contractor swung into action. A bag of cement that cost about 1800 naira became 20,000 naira and he bought plenty bags at this rate. Worst still the client fell for it and kept bringing out more money. Later on the son of the client came around to see how the project was going and was horrified to see the mind-blowing charges. He screamed. Immediately the contractor and lawyer were arrested and the case was about to be charged to court. Even in this situation the advanced lady felt pity for the contractor on the reason that he might have been very poor to act in such dubious ways. In the end, they were let off the hook but with the innocent lawyer’s image badly damaged.

2.       Purchase of substandard materials so as to realize high profit margin. Hmm, this is a crazily popular trend. Substandard materials are flowing everywhere. These contractors know just where to buy them and go for them. In fact, every building material  has a fake counterpart. Indeed, there are fake cement, fake rods, fake pipes and every goddamn thing used in building. They simply purchase large quantities of these and build your desired home with them. Then give your building a very beautiful painting, thereby heavily concealing the imperfect material used. In the long run, you see cracks on the wall. Worse, this situation is largely responsible for the widespread report of collapsed building with lives lost. You don’t want to risk your life and that of your family members, do you? The Bible says: “you will know the truth and the truth will set you free”

3.       Closely related to the  practice above is the habit of buying cement whose quantity has been deliberately reduced. Some cement dealers greedily take some quantity from different bags of cement to form another bag and then carefully seal it back. Some contractors patronize them, and still buy the cement at the same prevailing rate or price. The result: the same bag of cement but with a reduced quantity now also required to give the same number of blocks per bag. Step on the block and it destroys, rain also washes it away.

4.       Recruiting low paid workers or quacks to do the job and maximize profit. The cost of hiring real experts is usually higher because of their level of experience. To avoid this situation, they simply opt for quacks who accept lower pay. Now think of this: have you ever passed through a building whose seeming lifespan is far into the future but which has visible cracks on the wall? Have you wondered what caused this? Well, when quacks handle a building projects there are cracks later.

5.       Stealing materials. This ugly practice is common among the greedy class of contractors. Right now I look back at the experience I had many years ago. I visited a particular  work site to participate on a building project. But behold! The contractor in charge was seen making space in a heap of sand where he could carefully conceal a bag of cement. The truth is when left unmonitored, many items are diverted for personal use. In the case of cement, when some bags are missing they still try to produce the same quantity of blocks expected from a standard filled bag. But this time with a higher quantity of sand and reduced quantity of cement. Thus making the resulting blocks less strong. And could easily be washed away by rain.

6.       Outright lies and deception. Assuming a tipper is to supply ten-tipper load of sand, the greedy contractor connives with the driver to only supply eight or nine. With the effect that the remaining money for the unsupplied sand is put in his pocket.

7.       Poor monitoring of projects because of too many engagements. In fact, even veteran contractors commit this crime. They handle many building projects at the same thereby reducing the quality and quantity of monitoring attention. You see them running like a headless chicken from one project to the other. Sometimes before they come back to inspect the project the damage is already done, necessitating adjustments. This situation also leads to a shabby execution of projects.

8.       Conniving with workers to misrepresent facts. These greedy contractors appear smart and knowing very well that property owners will sometimes seek confirmation of facts from the workers, they proactively intimate the workers in this regard and tell them what they have to say when the situation arrives. The building owner is completely DECEIVED.


1.       Get informed. Always survey the market to know the current price of building materials.
2.       Consult other experts in the field to confirm the originality or quality of materials.
3.       Frequent the site to know when projects are not handled properly.
4.       Only patronize contractors (as we are) that have track records of honesty and quality delivery.
5.       Dig deeper into facts, go extra miles in ascertaining the truth.
6.       Keep records of materials bought.
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