Building collapse: FG set to flush out substandard block moulders

Posted by Boniface Okoro, Umuahia | 6 February 2016 | 2,896 times

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The Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) says it has put strategies in place to flush out substandard block moulders as part of measures by the Federal Government to eradicate building collapse in the country.

The Group Head for Civil Building at SON, Engr. Joseph Ugboajah, made this known in Umuahia Thursday during a meeting of leaders of the National Association of Block Moulders of Nigeria (NABMON) which says it has instituted task forces to arrest members using substandard materials for block moulding.

Ugboajah said SON has established standards for materials, especially blocks which are essential for building, adding: “It is very, very important that we regulate building practice in Nigeria with particular emphasis on the materials usage.

“We have standards for block which we are telling them (block moulders) to comply with and I am happy most of them are complying. Our effort in SON is yielding fruits; they are complying with the standards now but it is an ongoing process. So, it is one of such advocacy that we have come here today to preach the gospel of quality to the block makers.”

He said that all block makers must comply with the Mandatory Conformity Assessment Programme (MANCAP) of SON which makes it compulsory for everybody producer to comply with the minimum requirements of the standard.

“For those that are yet to comply, I want to assure you that there is no hiding place for them. Sooner or later, we will fish them out and we will make sure that they will leave the block industry. There is no two ways about it.

“Whatever level you are operating, whether in the cottage industry, medium or large scale, the standard is uniform and the standard is compulsory. You don’t have a choice but to comply with the standard or you close shop and look for something else to do,” he warned.

National President of NABMON, Alhaji Rasheed Adebowale, said following SON’s sensitisation programmes for their members, in addition to the association’s partnership with Dangote Cement, NABMON members have embraced quality production which has greatly reduced the incidence of building collapse.

“Between 2013 and 2014, there were many cases of building collapse in Nigeria and the block makers were blamed for it. We were accused of producing substandard blocks and since 2013, the federal government mandated SON to check our production so that we can do standard blocks in order to minimise the incidence of building collapse.

“That is why we are here to meet with our members in the South East, South West and South South so that they can help spread the message of producing quality blocks,” Adebowale said.

He said that NABMON has set up task forces at the state and national levels to fish out members indulging in unwholesome practices with a view to eradicating production of substandard blocks and expressed the association’s gratitude to Dangote for the immense assistance the firm has given to NABMON.

Regional Sales Director of Dangote who is coordinating the activities of end users, Johnson Olaniyi, assured of the company’s determination to avail block makers of quality products as part of its contribution to the war against building collapse.

“What Dangote does is to ensure that the artisans are able to maintain high quality product through the usage of Dangote cement. Today, we are sponsoring the gathering together of representatives of NABMON from the South so that they can decide on how they can add value to the real estate by way of producing quality blocks.

“We have been collaborating with them on the maintenance and sustenance of high quality blocks because it is when the block is of high quality that is the only way in which we can address the collapse of building in Nigeria today,” Olaniyi said.

The Sales Director said it was to enable block moulders to have access to Dangote Cement that its management decided to crash the price of the commodity to N1, 300, from N1, 800.

Also, the Regional Sales Manager, South East of Dangote Cement, Tunde Mabogunje, said Dangote was providing incentives to NABMON to encourage them to use Dangote products because of their quality, adding: “We also partner with them to ensure their progress and to give them any assistance they may need."

Chairman of the occasion and Chief Executive Officer of Obioma Enterprises, Deacon Obioma Okorie, hailed the sensitisation programme for NABMON in partnership with SON and Dangote Cement with emphasis on quality block moulding which would expose them to new technologies in the business.

“It is my belief that this meeting will expose block moulders to new ways, standards and technologies of doing business and correct some of the challenges we have been having before now,” Okorie said.

•Photo shows SON DG Joseph Odumodu.

Source: News Express

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