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SON approves new Cement standards, reduces 32.5r use to plastering of building only

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The controversies surrounding the right quality of cement has been laid to

rest with the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Olusegu

Aganga reported to have approved new cement standards in the country.

The approved standards based on the recommendation of the Technical

Committee set by the Governing Board of the Standard Organization of

Nigeria (SON), in the wake of cement quality debate by the stakeholders

has been given mandatory compliance by the local manufacturers of cement

and importers as well.
Earlier, SON Governing Council recently meet in Abuja and approved the TC

recommendation on the new cement standards before it was sent to Minister

Aganga for final approval
A top official of SON confirmed in Lagos yesterday that approval which is

already being conveyed to the manufacturers, showed that the new

grade-strengths of cement production in Nigeria NlS 444-1, which

automatically becomes the new composition and conformity criteria for

common cement in the country.
The SON Official said however that the industry operators will be given

few months to enable them time to implement the new rules.

Said he: “The standards were reviewed because the existing ones had

attained five year mandatory period for review as well as due to concerns

over the quality of cement in the Nigerian markets. There are also fears

over misapplication of the different strength classes of cement which was

allegedly attributed to the frequent collapse of buildings in Nigeria.

“All the relevant stakeholders and experts in the cement sub-sector such

as Cement Manufacturers, Universities, Research Institutes, Consumer

Associations, Block Moulders Association of Nigeria, Non-Governmental

Organizations, Ministries, Departments and
Agencies, among others, fully participated in the activities leading

to the review of the standards.”
According to him, the review incorporated information on the application

of the various grades of cement as well as additional information and

features on the bag of cement.
He stated further; the features/information include: colour code for

proper identification
according to strength class and the coloured part of the bag with the

labelling information is to take one-third of the bag surface on both

sides. Again, the location address of manufacturer, batch number and

expiry date shall be stated under the new regime on cement.

Following the new order, the information on application of the product are

as follows:
· CEM I 52.5R and 52.5N for use in the construction of bridges;

· CEM II 42.5R, 42.5N for use in the casting of columns, beams,

slabs, block moulding.
· CEM I & II 32.5R, 32.5N for plastering of buildings only.

According to the source, the new guidelines would enable the end-users

make the right choice, help to avoid unethical application of the

different types of cement; enhance proper identification of the different

cement classes, for traceability as well as to guide the users.

It would be recalled that recently newspapers were awash with the issue of

weak cement resulting to building collapse.
This made SON to set up a high powered technical committee to look at

the existing grades of cement in the country with a view to recommending

the best grades that should be in place for the good of the country.