18 December 2017

Nigeria: SON, Stakeholders Begin Review of Cement Standard

Photo: The Guardian Nigeria
Standards Organisation of Nigeria

Four-years after the Federal government approved new cement standard for the producers, the Technical Committee set by the Governing Board of the Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON) is again reviewing the quality of the products.

The grade-strengths of cement production existing in Nigeria have been NlS 444-1, which was adopted as composition and conformity criteria for common cement in the country.

The committee had in the wake of wide spread protest against the collapse of structures across the country, fingered low quality of cement as a key factor. There were also fears over misapplication of the different strength classes of cement that was allegedly attributed to the frequent collapse of buildings in the country.

Last week, a select group of professionals and experts, constituting SON Technical Committee met in Lagos and began the process of reviewing the NlS 444-1: 2014 cement standard.

The meeting attracted relevant stakeholders and experts in the cement sub-sector such as cement manufacturers, academia, research institutes, and Consumer Protection Council, Block Moulders Association of Nigeria, governmental establishments.

SON Director General, Mr. Osita Anthony Aboloma who opened the meeting organized by the organization, said the exercise is "imperative as standards can be reviewed after five years or at anytime at the instance of the stakeholders or if found inadequate due to changes in technology, test methods and government policy."

Aboloma, represented by the Director, Standards Development, Mrs. Chinyere Egwuonwu said: "Cement standard is no doubt a very important one, as about 80 per cent or more of the buildings and other infrastructural development of any nation and indeed Nigeria is carried out with the use of cement.

"Cement is a binder for all the components of the building and its poor application in the construction has been blamed for failures and collapse in the building and construction industry.

"The standard is a consensus document that promotes trade and ensure a positive impact on the national economy, if strictly adhered to. "Standard development is a stakeholders responsibility for which the SON provides the secretariat."

The Director General urged the stakeholders to use their wealth of knowledge and experience to bear in ensuring global best practices in ten final draft of the standard to be submitted to the standard council for approval

Aboloma believes that the proposed standard will help to monitor the quality of cement in Nigeria as well as checkmate the menace of incessant collapse of buildings and concrete structures by poor cement quality and application.

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