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Nigerian cement quality: Standards Organisation convenes technical committee

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World Cement,

There has been much discussion in recent weeks over the standard of cement produced in Nigeria and whether or not it is responsible for building collapse. This week, the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) convened a technical committee to review cement standardisation, bringing in representatives from Lafarge Cement WAPCO, Dangote Cement, UniCem and Ibeto Cement to join the discussion. The committee is set to decide whether or not 32.5-grade cement should be sold in Nigeria. This Day Live provided coverage of the first day of the meeting.

Dr Joseph Odumobo, Director General of SON opened the meeting, saying that through the course of the meeting he hopes to hear “expert technical insights on the way forward in standardisation of cement”. He acknowledged that there is no sub-standard cement produced in Nigeria because the cement standards are adhered to. But, he said, not all people buying cement understand what they are buying.

He added: "When the whole controversy began, we embarked on a basic survey and administered questionnaire to different people who are stakeholders in the building and construction industry, asking basic questions and the response revealed that the people did not actually know what they were buying from the market. When they get to the market they just ask for a cement and at best they ask for a particular brand name of cement. This invariably leads to misapplication of the product and to check this unfortunate situation, we have put this committee together."

The technical committee was made up of representatives from the University of Nigeria Nsukka, Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Cement Manufacturers Association of Nigeria and Nnamdi Azkikwe University, among others. The aim of the committee is to ascertain the relationship between poor quality cement and building collapse. Dr Odumobo added that poor building practices are key to the problem of building collapse and that efforts to curb this problem would be beyond the scope of the committee alone.

Edited from various sources by

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