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Standardisation: Dangote Cement explains why it enhances product quality to 42.5 grade

Source: pointblanknews.com

The nation's foremost cement manufacturer, Dangote Cement weekend at the

stated that all the products rolling out from its three cement plants are

certified 42.5 grade in line with international standard and quality

benchmark.
Reacting to the threat of coalition of civil society groups and

professional bodies in the construction industry to lead protests against

manufacturers and importers of 32.5 grade cement, the company's Chief

Executive Officer, Mr DVG. Edwin said Dangote Cement's adherence to global

best practices informed the production of 42.5 grade cement in all its

factories.
Addressing a cross section of the media weekend in Lagos, he said that

Dangote Cement chose to produce 42.5 cement grade as it is stronger and

has better qualities. According to him, the cement grade possesses higher

strength capability and is rapid setting making it the preferred grade

among blockmakers, builders and construction workers.

Explaining why Dangote Cement is laying emphasis on the production of 42.5

grade cement, Mr Edwin said that prior to the nation attaining

self-sufficiency in cement production, the Standard Organisation of

Nigeria (SON) stipulated the 42.5 grade as the grade accepted one to be

imported into the country and all importers complied.

Dangote Cement as a responsible market leader has continued to produce

42.5 grade in its three plants in strict adherence to the stipulations of

the SON. He wondered why SON should insist on 42.5 grade as the standard

for import and then allow a lower grade in terms of local production.

“How come during the import era, we are all compelled by the regulatory

authorities to bring in 42.5 grades and now since 2012 when import was

banned, the same regulatory authorities condoned the production of 32.5

grades”
 
Reacting to claims by a cross section of cement manufacturers that the

root cause of building collapse is not cement quality but poor use of

materials especially 32.5 grade by builders, Mr Edwin advocated that the

best way to ensure safety in the construction industry is to insist on

42.5 as the grade to be produced and used in Nigeria. He explained that

after seminars and training to educate builders on how to use 32.5 grade

in building, the unscrupulous ones among them still cut corners to cheat

on quality. This incidence of building collapse will be greatly reduced

if we adhere to a common quality specification leaving no opportunity for

manipulations, he contended.
On the claims that switching over to 42.5 grades would impact negatively

on their profit margins by some cement manufacturers, he debunked the

claims adding that producing the grade will lead to a marginal cost

increase and it should be seen as a patriotic gesture to stem the tide of

building collapse. “We place a high premium on human lives and not cost.

Nothing on earth can be substituted for human lives. Those arguing that

migrating from 32.5 to 42.5 will erode their profit margin are insincere

and selfish as human lives are more important than profit taking.” He

said.
As part of promoting best practices in the building industry, Mr Edwin

said that Dangote Cement in the past two years has held several trainings

and demonstrations with blockmakers across the nation to educate them on

how to achieve premium results using the 42.5 cement grade. This has

become a permanent feature in our operations.
Giving a breakdown of the different grades of cement available, he noted

that 92 per cent of Portland cement produced in the United States (US),

are in 52.5 and 42.5 Grades, while other imported cement from China,

Japan, Denmark and Paris are all 42.5 Grade.
He said, “Over 90 per cent of consumers are not aware of the different

types of cement available in Nigeria. Their expectations in respect to the

performance of cement are the same regardless of the type. The grade

(quality) of concrete to be used may allow 32.5 grade cement for certain

construction work such as pavements, rendering (plastering) and culverts

but would demand 42.5 grade cement for structures, columns, bridges and

multi storeyed buildings.”
A coalition of civil society groups and professional bodies in the

construction industry are set to launch a major campaign for the

standardization of the manufacturing and importation of the product. The

coalitions, according to media reports, have called on the relevant

authorities to initiate actions to make 42.5 grade of cement the standard

product in Nigeria.
The stakeholders' argument is that nearly all the cement manufacturers and

importers in the country are in the habit of taking advantage of the lax

regulation and lack of enforcement to vary their pigmentation in favour of

the lower grade cement (32.5) which in most cases is used in building and

seen to be partly responsible for the collapse of houses. They believe

that the practice, which is quite prevalent, is usually overlooked by the

Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON).