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Stakeholders re-echo FG’s concern on high cement prices

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Concrete mix

To forestall abuse and practices that cause building collapse as well as encourage adoption of cement for road construction, stakeholders in the built sector have asked cement manufacturers to reduce the price of the commodity.

Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, had last year echoed concerns about high prices of the commodity, stating that cement price can be cheaper if per capita consumption increases through the adoption of concrete roads and collaboration among local producers.

For instance, the National president Blockmakers Association, Abdulrasheed Adebowale called on cement manufacturers to slash the price of cement in the country.

“We need the price of cement to come down, if we can achieve this, it would be a positive impact on the lives of block makers in the country. There is a need for us to reach an agreement where we would get special prices because the current price of cement is too much for us to cope with,” he said.

Besides, the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has partnered operators to equip stakeholders in the built sector with requisite skills in achieving better quality and yields in block making.

Indeed, the partnership was also in line to checkmate the spate of building collapse, considering that low-quality blocks are one of the major reasons for the spate of building collapse in Nigeria.

The National Head, Civil, and Building, Cement, SON, Ugbaja Joseph, said the standards body holds periodic technical meetings to review the standards of cement with cement manufacturers.

He said in its latest harmonization of standards, SON and stakeholders in the industry established a new NIS 978-2017 for sandcrete blocks in the country, saying that for cement block makers must use Portland cement that complies with the requirement of NIS 444-1:2018.

The Regional Manager, Lagos, and Ogun, BUA Cement, Tosin Olokuntoye, at a one-day workshop organized by BUA Cement with Industrial Training Fund and SON in Lagos, explained that BUA partnered with SON to train some block makers on different aspects of block making to avert building collapse.

“Some of these block makers do not know that there are different blocks for different purposes. This is one of the reasons why we have a building collapse in the country. We have blocks for heavy structures and light structures. We also found out that lack of supervision and poor quality materials in making these blocks could also be responsible for the menace,” he said.

In his presentation, he said all manpower along its production lines is tailored at achieving high-quality cement conforming to Nigerian Industrial Standards (NIS 444-1-2018) without compromise to put smiles on its end-users’ faces.

The Regional Manager stated that plans are ongoing to extend the products to the South West, saying that courtesy of its expansion the company’s product would be made available to the South West region of the country in no distant time.

“To maintain BUA cement quality during its shelf life, the end-users must protect the cement by making proper storage and keeping the cement bags on a raised platform in sustainable weather tight condition. The water should be clean, fit for drinking and free from salt and deleterious materials. Proper storage is very key,” he said.


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