By Etuka Sunday
Following the release recently of the classification of cement and its uses by the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) leading cement manufacturer, Dangote Cement Plc has expressed its satisfaction and support for the move, pledging to abide by the classification.
Already, the company said it had complied with the grading of cement and had gone ahead to produce to specifications rolled out by the regulatory authorities.
The SON in the wake of the building collapses across the country and the attendant controversies on the quality of cement being produced in the country summoned the meeting of a stakeholders in the building and construction industry.
The meeting undertook a review of standard of quality of cement and came out with a classification of cement types and their appropriate uses as a means of stemming the suspected misapplication of the
product which has contributed to the building collapse menace.
SON in the new classification exercise warned members of the public to adhere strictly to the stipulated application of cement types and save the nation the embarrassment of incessant structure failures.
In the fresh review of standard, the Organisation restricted the use of the 32.5 grade strength to plastering of structures only while 42.5 grade is recommended for the construction of buildings, beams, load bearing columns, pillars, block moulding and other structures and the 52.5 recommended for the construction bigger projects like bridges, flyovers, and high rise buildings.
Group Managing Director of the Dangote Cement Plc, Devakumar Edwin while addressing a group of Kenyan businessmen who visited the Ibese cement plant of the company at the weekend said the decision to embark on the high quality grade was to help Nigeria stem the tide of collapse building and commended SON for the bold move pointing out that Dangote was ready to support the regulatory body in the onerous task of ridding the nation of structure failures.
Worried by the continuing use of the low grade cement, the Standard Organization of Nigeria(SON) penultimate week issued a directive that 52.5R be used for bridges, 42.5R should be used for casting of columns, beams, slabs and making blocks, while the low grade 32.5MPA was restricted to plastering.
Speaking also at the Public Hearing, Director General of SON Joseph Ikem Odumodu said the restriction placed on the use of low grade cement is important to mitigate the problem of collapse building in the country.
Contributing, President of the Cement Manufacturers Association of Nigerian (CMAN) Engr Joseph Makoju, said the 42.5 grade is superior cement over 32.5 and that Nigeria used to produce and import 42.5 before the coming of 32.5MPA.
The House of Representatives Ad hoc Committee on the composition and pigmentation of cement in the country led by its chairman Hon Yakubu Dogara last week conducted a Public Hearing aimed at addressing the phenomenon of collapse building in the country.
In his remarks, Hon Dogara had said:” There is no gainsaying the fact that the serial incidence of building collapse in the country has become a source of anxiety.”