Block makers, NGOs and stakeholders have commended the House of Representatives for recommending 42.5MPA grade as the standard cement for construction in Nigeria.
In a 12-point recommendation on Tuesday, the House of Representatives adopted the report of Hon Yakubu Dogara-led ad hoc committee on composition and pigmentation of cement quality which investigated the incidence of collapse building in the country.
Speaking to newsmen in Abuja yesterday, Project Coordinator of NGO Network who also doubles as the National Coordinator of Standard Awareness Group Mr. Muhammad Attah said the decision of the House of Representatives is a welcome development.
“From the fact available to us, the most potent cement is the 42.5MPA. We are also aware that the other grade 32.5 can only be used for one purpose. We are therefore calling on manufacturers to abide by the regulation and label their cement bags so that Nigerians will know what they are buying,” he said. Worried by the continuing use of the low grade cement, Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) had issued a directive that 52.5m be used for bridges; 42.5MPA should be used for casting of columns, beams, slabs and making blocks (multi-purpose), while the low grade 32.5MPA was restricted to plastering. The Dangote Cement Plc is the only one producing the high quality 42.5MPA in the country.
In a statement, the Dangote Group welcomed the recommendation of the House of Representatives, adding that its cement plants in the country have since commenced the production of 42.5MPA.
The statement said the country must unite in fighting the menace of collapse building.
Chairman of the Kaduna State Blocks and Concrete Makers Association Alhaji Hamza Haruna Gambo welcomed the lawmakers’ recommendation and added that all his members have complied with the SON directive on cement classification. Chairman and Chief Executive of Progress Cement in Suleja, Niger State, Alhaji Yau Ahmad Tafa hailed the lawmakers for saving lives, adding that those who settled for inferior cement do so purely for profit motive.
President of the Cement Manufacturers Association of Nigerian (CMAN) Engr Joseph Makoju had said during the Public Hearing on cement quality that the 42.5 grade is superior cement over 32.5MPA and that Nigeria was used to produce and import 42.5MPA.
The Director General of the Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON) Joseph Ikem Odumodu had called on manufacturers and consumers to comply with its directive, adding that cement grades and quality in the country was due for review.