It is important to assess firms’ financial health in the harsh construction market of developing countries. This study seeks to achieve this by assessing locally owned construction firms’ (LOCOFs) financial performance through evaluating firms’ bill of quantities (BOQ) contract sums and bid unit rates of common building items. Accessible 60 BOQ of the 79 BOQ of building projects awarded to various LOCOFs from 2007 to 2015 by federal universities and federal universities teaching hospitals in Southwest Nigeria were obtained from the institutional archives. Regression analysis of the contract sums and bid unit rates of common building construction items of works such as concrete, sandcrete block, iron, mortar and floor tiles were carried out. LOCOFs’ bid unit rates were compared with published unit rates and Nigeria consumer price index (CPI) within the study period and inferences bothering on firms’ pricing pattern and financial viability of firms based on items of work unit rates were highlighted and discussed. The results showed that 119 out of a total 461 unit rates values representing 25.81% of the LOCOFs bided unit rates were higher than the published unit rates. LOCOFs unit rates trend decreased within 3 to 4 consecutive years while the Nigeria CPI trend increased all through the years considered in the study. This implies that LOCOFs common items of work bids unit rates were not always influenced by the prevailing prices of goods and services in Nigeria. A possible reason for this is the lowest tender selection criteria which influences LOCOFs’ bided unit rates thereby leading to the acclaimed compromise in the quality of construction output and stunted financial performance.
The strategic role of indigenous construction firms (ICFs) in the development of the construction industry better construction output and infrastructural development in developing countries cannot be overemphasized. These goals may not be achieved if firms’ psychosocial construction work environment and wellbeing (PCEW) are not appraised. To this end, this study identified and assessed factors relating to PCEW in the 37 factors influencing the viability and performance of construction firms obtained from the extant literature. A sample size of 65 staff of 31 ICFs out of a total survey of 177 staff of 59 ICFs that were awarded building contracts in selected institutions in Nigeria was accessed for this study. Respondents rated each factor on a five-point Likert scale of importance and mean scores were used to rank the factors after identifying factors that are related to ICFs’ PCEW. The study identifies 14 PCEW related factors out of the 37 factors influencing the viability of ICFs and six of the top ten very important factors influencing ICFs’ viability having high factor loading are PCEW related. The factors are quality of construction work and services, availability of skilled labour, employee satisfaction, and availability of artisans and craftsmen. Steady emphasis on factors influencing PCEW of construction workers amidst various factors influencing ICFs’ viability is necessary for a healthier construction work environment and wellbeing.