Posted by News Express | 30 July 2014 | 4,358 times
Chairman of Cement Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (CMAN), an arm of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Engineer Joseph Makoju, has clarified that the 42.5 cement grade has superior efficacy over and above the 42.5 grade. He declared that the recent cement standardization by the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) is in the best interest of Nigerians and Nigeria.
The technocrat, who was a former Managing Director of Lafarge Cement WAPCO, spoke while featuring on the Channels Television programme, Morning Ride segment titled “Cement Standardization: Setting the Record Straight”.
Makoju debunked certain claims by a guest who featured at the programme, whom he accused of misrepresenting his submission at a public hearing conducted by the House of Representatives Ad-Hoc Committee on cement pigmentation, during which he said all stakeholders bared their minds on the issue during the hearing the hearing.
Engineer Makoju, popularly called Mr. Cement, clarified that while he was the CEO Lafarge Cement, between 1991 and September 18, 2000, the company was producing the 42.5 grade of cement and not 32.5 as claimed by the guest and some others.
The CMAN Chairman, who stated that the cement issue had factionalized the membership of CMAN into two pointed out that there was no way the efficacy of a 42.5 grade can be compared to 32.5 and that claims that some sky scrapers and bridges built decades ago we're built with 32.5 were incorrect.
Said he: “Many commentators on the issue of cement standardization are ignorant of the issues at stake, stakeholders particularly COREN at the House of Representatives hearing laid claim to certain facts which made me to intervene, especially on the issue of structures built with 42.5 cement grade but which are now being touted to have been built with 32.5 grade.
“I was Lafarge MD between 1991 and 2000, we were producing 42.5 then, they must have switched over to 32.5 at my exit.”
He stated that while knowledge of application of cement is key, it will be grossly out of place to say cement is cement as some people have been arguing. “It’s like saying a 250mg antibiotic capsule is the same as 500mg. Who does not know that 500mg is more efficacious with more strength,” Makoju maintained.
Makoju explained that there have been so many achievements recorded in the cement industry that should be celebrated but lamented that the unwarranted controversies on the standardization has taken the shine away. “More cement are being produced locally and we have moved the nation away from reliance on import and we even now export having met local consumption demand.”
Makoju, who is an Honorary Adviser to Aliko Dangote, the President of Dangote Group, debunked the insinuation that the new cement standardization by the regulatory authorities was meant to create a monopoly for a cement manufacturer like Dangote Cement which produces over 65 per cent of total production of cement in Nigeria.
According to him, many people shy away from investment in manufacturing and prefer business that can bring in quick money, but when they see someone like Dangote who continues to invest without looking back, when it’s time for harvest, those of them who pulled out would be crying of monopoly.
Makoju gave an instance of the refining and petrochemical business where lots of licenses were issued by government and all the company went to sleep until Dangote came up and began practical construction.
“In the next five years now when begins production and invest more for expansion, those who collected license but did not do anything would be crying of monopoly,” he said, adding: “That is Nigeria for you, at any event is anybody prevented from investing and expanding? You have your choice, Dangote should be commended for his abiding faith in Nigeria with his continuous investment. We need more like him in Nigeria.”
•File photo shows CMAN Chairman, Engineer Joseph Makoju (left) at a public function.
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