Exploring the key risk factors impeding the performance of highway construction projects: an evidence from Nigeria

Sani Reuben Akoh*, Ming Sun, Stephen Ogunlana, Abba Tahir Mahmud

*Corresponding author for this work

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Purpose: Construction projects, and particularly highway infrastructures, are known to be major contributors to the socio-economic growth of developing countries. However, these types of projects are infamous for being highly risky due to the interplay of numerous risk factors. This study aims to explore the key risk factors impacting on the performance of highway infrastructure projects in Nigeria from the contextual viewpoint of key industry stakeholders. Design/methodology/approach: Qualitative data was collected using semi-structured interviews. Specifically, 17 in-depth expert interviews were conducted with experienced stakeholders in the highway sector of the Nigerian construction industry. The collected data was transcribed and analysed using an established coding framework (grounded on case study approach, principles of thematic analysis and saliency analysis). Findings: Overall, 17 key risks were identified from the data analysis process, and 6 risks were recognised as the most significant, based on the combination of prevalence of occurrence and significance of the coded information. The six top risks were: change in government, corruption, cost of construction materials, inflation, project funding issues and construction project delay. However, the first two of these risks (change in government and corruption) are politically related, which is specific and unique to the setting of Nigeria and thus might be seen as discouraging indicators that could have an impact on attracting foreign investors/contractors to Nigeria. Originality/value: The study addressed the gap related with identifying context-specific risk factors impeding the performance of highway projects in Nigeria from the viewpoints of industry experts. It is expected that the findings will provide a better insight into the various risk factors and thus aid relevant policymakers to provide context-specific mitigating strategies.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Facilities Management
Early online date27 May 2024
Publication statusEarly online - 27 May 2024


  • Coding framework
  • Highway construction projects
  • Nigeria
  • Performance
  • Risk factors
  • Risk identification

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