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Block makers blamed for incessant buliding collapse

20 February 2014, 11:37

Abuja - The Standards Organisation  of Nigeria (SON) on Wednesday in Abuja blamed block makers for the spate of building collapse in the country.

Dr Joseph Odumodu, the Director-General of the SON said this on Wednesday in his address at the ongoing SON 2014 Management Retreat for staff of the Organisation in Abuja.

The theme of this year's retreat is entitled: "SMEs and the Industrialisation of Nigeria, the Role of Standardisation".

He maintained that it was out of place to blame the complicity associated with building collapse on the corridor of cement manufacturers.

"Contrary to the views of some uninformed public, it is the sharp practices by block makers that are partly responsible for incidence of collapse buildings in the country.

"There are different grades of cement, all cement companies are producing 32.5 and 42.5 per square meters of cement for concretes in the country that have met standards specifications,’’ he said.

Odumodu, who confirmed that Nigerian cement industry conformed to the highest international standards, said the industry was working with SON to ensure up-to-date testing, certification of products and quality norms.

He further explained that a bag of cement meant to produce 30 blocks, had often been used to produce 50 blocks by most block-makers.

"As of today in Nigeria, any block of nine inches being sold for N200 is of low standard,’’ he said.

 Odumodu, however, said that the 32.5 grades of cement are supposed to be used for block making and plastering purposes while the 42.5 grade was for the making of concrete and heavy constructions.

In a bid to address the challenge, the DG said SON was on the verge of establishing cement testing laboratories for block makers and other users in the country.

He said that the organisation would soon compile the list of block makers that were using the right quality cement with a view to publishing them for periodical authentication.

On efforts to preserve entrepreneurship in the country, Odumodu said SON had created a number of linkages with multinationals to ensure wealth creation through the small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

He said that SMEs were the bedrock of any economy, as according to him, "the country is poised to leverage on them to create jobs."

-  NAN

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