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Dangote Cement urges SON to enforce new cement standard

By The Citizen
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Dangote Cement plc yesterday hailed the move by the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to review standardization of cement in the country towards attaining the highest level of safety in building and construction.​

The cement company at a forum in Lagos also urged SON to immediately begin the enforcement of the new cement classification and its uses to rid the nation of substandard cement and the attendant incidence of structure failures.

The management of the company made the call during a press briefing held in Lagos to make its position known on the controversies surrounding the new standard review and the classification of cement type.

Dangote Cement Director, Ekanem Etim said that the review and the classification was coming too late after the nation and its citizens have been subjected to harrowing experience of loss of lives and properties and that the regulatory should spare no further time to enforce the implementation of the new standard.

According to him, it is only economic saboteurs and profiteers that would kick against the new standard for cement production as other countries of the world have moved up beyond the level and the low grade being canvassed by some of the manufacturers opposed to the new standard.

The Technical Committee of the SON which comprised of all stakeholders in the building and construction industry including all cement manufacturers, had in the wake of wide spread protest against the collapse of structures across the country in which accusing fingers were being pointed to low quality of cement as being a key factor in the structure failures met to review the existing standard.

The Committee at the end of the meeting came up with a review of the standard and classified cement into three grades and stipulated their exclusive uses to guide against misapplication and adulteration.

A report on the reviewed standard was adopted and forwarded to the SON Governing Council which looked at the reviewed standard and approved it before sending it to the Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry for final approval for implementation

The new review restricted the use of the 32.5 grade strength to plastering of structures only while 42.5 grade is recommended for the construction of buildings, beams, load bearing columns, pillars, block moulding and other structures and the 52.5 recommended for the construction bigger projects like bridges, flyovers, and high rise buildings.

Etim argued that several countries have phased out the 32.5 MPA and that what Dangote cement has done is to set a minimum standard of 42.5 MPA and will go ahead and educate the people on the uses of the different grades of cement.