Tiles, sanitary ware operators lament harsh environment
CDK, which also manufactures tiles, said lack of basic infrastructure has impeded the firm’s ability to produce with lower prices, thereby precipitating many Nigerians to patronise substandard and cheaper imported sanitary wares.
The general manager of the company, Mr. Hossam Maher who spoke when, the president, Nigerian Institution of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS), Obafemi Onashile and other members visited its facility in Ogun State, said Nigeria will have no need to import sanitary wares and tiles if government do the needful.
According to him, though about 88 per cent of the raw materials are sourced locally, the roads to the site are in deplorable states, while electricity is still a big challenge.
He also lamented that the raw materials are still not polished while there is still no concrete policy to protect the local manufacturers.
Maher, who has worked in various international companies abroad also lamented the absence of standards to guide the sanitary wares and said the firm has presented its standard to the Standard organization of Nigeria (SON) for adoption because of it complied with United Kingdom and other recognised sanitary wares standards.
According to him, the adoption expected in the next six months will help in checking the importation of substandard sanitary wares in to the country.
Also the managing director of the company, Mr. Bernard Longe described CDK, which commenced operation in 2017 as a child of necessity because Nigeria and Nigerians have consistently been shortchanged by the importation of mostly second or even third grade inferior or fake building materials.
He stressed that at the conception, the objective was not to compete with other local producers in the tile manufacturing industry whose products were largely regarded as of relative inferior quality but to produce tiles and sanitary wares of export quality comparable to the best in the world.
According to him, the company is currently the only producers of sanitary ware in the country and recognised leader in porcelain tiles in Nigeria.
He also said before the entry of CDK into the market, the case could be made that for the upper middle class and the more affluent and discerning segment of the market, there was no choice but to go for imports if you wanted high end quality tiles.
He however called for collaboration with quantity surveyors as important influencers in the choice of building and finishing materials in the firm’s aspiration to lead the industry to an enviable position of comfort similar to what the electrical cable industry has unarguably been able to achieve in the face of hitherto similarly very fierce competition from imports many years ago.
In his remarks, NIQS president, Femi Onashile said the visit was to see the products of CDK and how they fit into the interest of the country as well as to look at the process and their environmental sustenance.
According to him, there is also need to see how the products can be enhanced and made more pocket- friendly for developers of buildings.
He extolled the firm for its high level of sophistication and strict adherence to standards.
Onashile stressed that the intervention of the firm has helped in reducing the cost of housing production by supplying the housing needs, which are hitherto imported and sold at exorbitant rates.
He urged the firm to tap in from the unprecedented growth in the built environment through the proposed physical policy in Executive order 7, permitting private sector driven housing provision and infrastructure.
Under this fiscal policy, housing infrastructural delivery will be yearly with the involvement of private sectors. This, he said will increase regular demands of the company’s products.
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