The Convener, Cement Standardization Advocacy Group, Mr Oke Maduegbuna, who heads the civil society group concerned with reducing the number of building collapsing in the country, has called on stakeholders in the sector to adopt a unified standard for cement grade.
Appearing as a guest on Sunrise (Saturday), Mr Maduegbuna said that though the government had stipulated 42.5 grade as the standard for imported cement, “misapplication of cement is one of the (major) causes of building collapse.”
He said problems began in 2004, “when government decided not to give licenses for imports and all that and people began to produce and probably went back to 32.5”, so the buying public could not differentiate between the 42.5 grade and 32.5 grade.
He noted that many were also not aware of the different grades, type of cement but only knew the different brands.
He further noted that the standard as stipulated by the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), was that “52.5 for heavy construction, 42.5 for buildings and 32.5 for rendering/plaster.” He also said that the SON had intentions to ensure that each bag of cement was properly labelled and the grades stated boldly.
However, “I think there’s an action in Court against SON on this so I don’t think that SON has started the enforcement”, he said, insisting that “we have a grouse with the policy as it is”.
“If you say one (type of) cement is only for plastering and this one could do everything, my worry is that, I would prefer to buy the one that is for plastering, if there is a small margin in the price, or if the other one is unavailable.”
He stated that the application method of the grades is different but cement producers had not done enough to educate the public of these methods.
He urged all stakeholders to “come up with a communication plan to educate the public on the different types of cement”. He also advocated the gradual phasing out of the 32 grade which is only good for plastering.
This he said would curb the misuse of cement.