By Miriam Humbe
In the face of repeated cases of building collapse in the country, the Nigeria Building and Road Research Institute (NBRRI), has constructed a pilot plant for the production of pozzolana cement, which is expected to serve as an alternative source of building material.
The Director General of NBRRI, Prof. Danladi Matawal who dropped this hint yesterday in an exclusive chat with Peoples Daily in Abuja, said the plant which sources its raw materials from rice hash ash and groundnut hash ash and clay has been completed one hundred percent.
“At the moment, the pilot plant has been completed one hundred percent. We have done some trial productions and there is need for fine-tuning. As I speak, the fine-tuning is continuing.
That one is a clear based pilot plant but it also has got potentials to process pozzolana from raw materials such as rice hash ash available in Benue and Niger states and groundnut peels as well as volcanic ash which is clay available on the Jos Plateau so it’s not something we are going to import,” the NBRRI boss said.
While speaking further on the sources of the raw materials for the production of the pozzolana cement, the Professor of Civil Engineering said, “the raw materials are all available in Nigeria.
Our responsibility is to look for alternative sources within the country of all our materials. We will be doing a disservice to this country if instead of saving resources, to go and look at clay which we are to import. We are using clay from Ogun state for our trial.
“We are providing options for affordable housing. Our plan is that we shall give a specification for its application and maybe we’ll design small pilot plants that people can do in local governments and other places”, Prof. Matawal said.
Presently, the pozzolana cement is being used in other African countries like South Africa and most of the frontline South-African states like Namibia, Zambia, Central African Republic as well as Ghana which has both pilot plant in Kumasi as well as their major commercial plant in Accra.
“We visited these plants and we have known it on the experimental table for quite a while and decided that in the concept of globalisation, Nigeria should not be left back in having technical know-how and application options in this area”, he said.