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How Megaprojects Are Damaging Nigeria and How to Fix It

A Practical Guide to Mastering Very Large Government Projects

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  • Open Access
  • © 2022

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  • First book on very large projects in Nigeria, with a clear analysis of systemic weaknesses and recommendations
  • In-depth case studies offer a real life insight into what success drivers look like in context
  • Draws on three other countries to show how they have improved their government project management practices
  • This book is open access, which means that you have free and unlimited access

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Table of contents (13 chapters)


About this book

Since 1960, two-thirds of very large governmental projects in Nigeria have not only failed, but been abandoned mid-course. This presents a bigger failure rate than mega projects elsewhere, and yet there is no available data or analysis to help us understand the reasons behind such failures. This book provides an authoritative examination into why very large projects in Nigeria have failed so badly, and provides practical recommendations on how the Nigerian government can improve its project performance.

Drawing on data from 38 very large projects (19 completed and 19 abandoned) with a total budget of over $25B, this book presents detailed analysis of these projects and in-depth case studies 11 of the projects, and presents lessons for improvement. Through this, the authors have identified a small number of key success drivers, and argue that making moderate improvements on any of them would, on average, save hundreds of millions of dollars on one large project alone.

This book is a game-changer in the management of government mega projects in Nigeria. With clear implications for other developing economies, this is a vital resource for project management practitioners, executives and civil servants.

This is an open access book.

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cambridge Judge Business School, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK

    Jimoh Ibrahim, Christoph Loch, Kishore Sengupta

About the authors

Jimoh Ibrahim is a prominent businessman in Nigeria, with business interests in hotels, insurance, banking,  oil and gas, real estate, and airlines. He is also currently completing his Business Doctorate degree at the University of Cambridge Judge Business School. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in law and a Master of Public Administration from the Obafemi Awolowo University Ile Ife, Nigeria, in addition to a Master of Science in Mega Project Management from the University of Oxford Said Business School, and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Cambridge. He is also an alumnus of the Harvard Law School and holds other degrees.

In the public sector, Jimoh Ibrahim was in 2005 appointed as the Honorary Consul of the Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe to the Federal Republic of Nigeria for life in 2007. He was appointed by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Nigeria Corporate Affairs Commission (equivalent of the British Company House). In addition, the president of Nigeria conferred on him the higher National Honours of “Officer of the order of the Federal Republic” OFR and “Commander of the Order of Federal Republic” CFR (the equivalent of the British Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire CBE). Ibrahim is currently working on establishing a new University in Nigeria.

Christoph Loch is Professor of Operations and Technology Management at the Cambridge Judge Business School. He served as the Dean of the school from 2011 to 2021, in which period the school grew from £25M to £60M in annual revenues and rose in Financial Times rankings into the global top 20. Professor Loch is globally known for research on innovation, operations management, and project management, and he has received a research award from the Project Management Institute (PMI). He is a well-known speaker and instructor on innovation and on project management. He has written a previous book on project management in addition to books on innovation and management quality in manufacturing.

Kishore Sengupta is Professor of Operations and Technology Management at the Cambridge Judge Business School. He is an internationally known researcher on project management, and he is the programme director of the project management executive education offering at the Cambridge Judge Business School.

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: How Megaprojects Are Damaging Nigeria and How to Fix It

  • Book Subtitle: A Practical Guide to Mastering Very Large Government Projects

  • Authors: Jimoh Ibrahim, Christoph Loch, Kishore Sengupta

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan Cham

  • eBook Packages: Business and Management, Business and Management (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2022

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-030-96473-3Published: 13 May 2022

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-030-96476-4Published: 13 May 2022

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-030-96474-0Published: 12 May 2022

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XVIII, 240

  • Number of Illustrations: 53 illustrations in colour

  • Topics: African Business, Project Management

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