The structured building practice in Nigeria started in 1930's till date is faced with a great deal of difficulties arising from lack of personnel, resources, hardware and asset improvement, to inaccessibility (or poor usage) of uniform regulations, standards for building operations. This paper evaluates failures in public project management practices in Nigeria building industry with specific reference to commercial buildings. Minna, Nigeria was adopted as the study area with the use of questionnaire as research instrument to source for data from targeted respondents. Findings shows the main causes of project failures to include; challenges of delay of payment to contractors resulting from governments bureaucracy; increase in the scope of work without corresponding increase in budget estimate and selection and award of contract based on lowest bidder and not on experience and competency impacts project success and eventually become abandoned. To mitigate this growing trend of project failure and abandonment in Nigeria, this paper suggests an improved private partnership investment and involvement to be harnessed and maintained in Nigeria building sector; contracts should be awarded based on merits, and there should be strict adherence to the existing building codes for proper implementation.
Keywords: abandonment, building industry, commercial buildings, failure, public project, project management.