The Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON) has explained why the agency is restricting the use of low grade cement-the 32.5MPA- and urging manufacturers to commence the production of the high grade 42.5MPA.
Speaking at the just concluded 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.
The House of Representatives Ad hoc Committee on the composition and pigmentation of cement in the country led by its chairman Hon Yakubu Dogara conducted a Public Hearing last week aimed at addressing the phenomenon of collapse building in the country.
The DG said Nigeria cannot afford to be a pariah state on the issue of cement quality, adding that world’s progressive countries have since stopped using the low quality 32.5MPA.
He said his organization had restricted the use of 32.5MPA low grade and will enforced compliance.
He said those that have decided to continue to produce 32.5MPA low grade do so for profiteering.
He said if the phenomenon of building collapse must be addressed, Nigeria must minimize the use of the low grade cement.
The Dangote Cement Plc is the only company producing the high quality grade of 42.5R, while other manufacturers are producing low quality 32.5 grade.
It is estimated that from 1974 to 2010, collapse building had claimed 297 lives.
The SON had issued a directive that 52.5R be used for bridges, 42.5R for casting of columns, beams, slabs and for moulding blocks, while the low grade 32.5 can only be used for plastering.
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.
Speaking earlier, Group Managing Director of the Dangote Cement Plc DVG Edwin told lawmakers that in spite of the superior grade of the Dangote Cement, it has not increased its price.