The Federal Government is advancing efforts towards standardisation in buildings that would curtail incidences of collapse by ensuring compliance to standards by stakeholders as it unveiled new cement packaging compliance regulations.
Olusegun Aganga, the minister of industry, trade and investment, on Thursday at the launch of ‘Mandatory certification of sandcrete blocks and unveiling of the new cement bags labelling in Nigeria’, assured that consumers’ confidence would be boosted following this regulations, saying patronage by consumers would lead to increased capacity utilisation.
According to him, “The most recent review of the Nigeria industrial standard for sandcrete block moulding would address the issue of load bearing in response to the worrisome spate of building and structural collapses in recent years”.
In addition, Joseph Odumodu, the director general of Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), said, “We are determined to ensure standards owing to several incidences of building collapse in the country.”
He noted that “the recent test conducted on cement blocks in Nigeria, especially the load bearing ones, made a revelation that only 5 percent of the blocks met the specifications of the standards -NIS 587 of 2007. That necessitated what we are doing here today”.
“We believe that any factor that contributed in any way to building collapse should be addressed. Load bearing blocks happen to be one of them and that is what we are addressing”, he said.
According to Odumodu, “What we are doing here today is to start a certification process. In this we are collaborating with block moulders’ associations, concrete moulders, building collapse prevention guild and stakeholders. We are collaborating with them as a self-regulatory organisation as a way to clean up the system”.
Aganga also unveiled new cement bags certified by regulatory agencies which, according to him, “Must have batch numbers for traceability, have expiry dates because they are chemicals and they do expire. There are other issues like storage that we are working on and they must all comply”.