SON launches three cement bags specimen

...Laments Synagogue guest house collapse

  As part of its steps towards ensuring that building collapse becomes history in Nigeria, the Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) yesterday launched three different cement specimen bags for the 32.5,42.5 and 52.5 grades for the manufacturers operating in the sector.This is even as the Director General of SON, Dr. Joseph Odumodu lamented the recent collapse of the guest house of the Synagogue Church in Lagos, where the death toll was reported to have risen to 115, saying that it could have been avoidable.

The new packages launched by the SON at a zonal  stakeholders forum on sandcrete in Lagos has different colours for easy identification by the consumers, yellow for the 32.5, blue for the 42.5 and fire red for the 52.5.

The manufacturers according to SON are expected to ensure that 30 per cent of their cement bags carried the approved colour, while the bag must also have the NIS logo, the manufacturing and expiring dates, the standard weight of 50kg net and the name of the company.

Odumodu, while addressing block makers and the builders said the forum, which was the second after the one held in Abuja last month was  to reiterate SON’s ability and determination to check buildings collapse in Nigeria by sensitizing stakeholders in the construction industry.

While calling for support of all the stakeholders in the campaign, he maintained that the forum was essential and crucial in order for SON to have a common ground, stressing that it is within the organization’s mandate to fight building collapse and construction failures.

“SON will soon start to inspect buildings and constructions while they are going up or after they have been erected. If we test and find a property faulty, we will pull it down”, he said.

He stated that recent study conducted by SON revealed that over 60 per cent of the major causes of incessant building collapse across the country were as a result of poor quality and sub-standard blocks and concrete used in constructing such structure.

He affirmed that the organization is not only setting standards, but its tasks also include training the operators, continuous monitoring and enforcement and ensuring workable and healthy collaborations with industry operators and players.

Speaking on cement bags labeling, Odumodu said the parameter is not static. “We need to employ creativity and aesthetics to it. The one-third portion of the labeling on the cement can be adjusted and placed at the middle of the bag instead of down the bag. The adequate information of cement will go a long way towards proper users’ guide and application of the product.”

He stressed that effective and comprehensive certification of products especially building materials would help in safeguarding lives and property, while effective collaboration with block molders was to fight fakes and quacks in the industry.

The Minister of State for Industry, Trade and investment, Dr. Samuel Ortom, in his address said one key focus of standardization all over the world is continual improvement aimed at customer satisfaction.

He implored all professionals in the building and construction sector in Nigeria including artisans and sandcrete block moulders to ensure that only certified materials are used and engage only those with requisite knowledge and skills in order to comply with approved standard.

Ortom reiterated the determination of the  federal government to continue to provide the needed support and encouragement to its agencies, while

he charged Nigerians to demand for quality as a right and take steps to seek redress when dissatisfied with product quality.

Source : SunOnline

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