THE Standards Organisation of Nigeria, SON, has intervened in the controversy over the quality of the different grades of cement in the market, saying there is no substandard cement in the market, but that it is being misapplied by users for different purposes. Joseph Odumodu, director-general, SON, said most people only knew the different brands of cement being produced, but were unable to differentiate them on the basis of the functions they were supposed to serve.
He said the 32.5, 42.5 and 52.5 grades of cement were supposed to be used for different purposes. According to Odumodu, while the first is essentially for block making and plastering purposes, the 42.5 grade is suitable for heavy concrete, high rise structures, bridges, flyovers and marine construction, adding that ignorance of the different uses usually led to abuse.
He said his interaction with some of the people who used cement showed that even professionals who had been in the building industry for about 20 years might not understand the different grades of the product, adding that problems could also arise when cement was unduly exposed.
According to him, an undue exposure to the elements can diminish the quality of cement and give a false impression that its quality is low at the point of manufacture. He said in a bid to correct the misconceptions about the quality of the product, SON had been holding stakeholder sensitisation meetings with operators in the building construction sector, including regular training of block makers.
He said aside the issue of ignorance on the use of cement, greed and corruption were other problems in the sector. “Cement has a life span and if it goes beyond the life span, it will fail to meet its parameters. I want to also state that there is a huge gap between what is put in the market and what the consumer take up,” he said.
LCCI Warns Politicians
THE Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, LCCI, has expressed concern over the avoidable tension in the polity and its adverse implications on investors’ confidence. Muda Yusuf, director general, LCCI, in a communiqué issued at the end of the council meeting, on February 11, said the council had reviewed recent developments on the political landscape and expressed concern over the avoidable tension in the polity, stressing that the credibility and independence of the key institutions driving the electoral process and the political transition programme were paramount in driving investors’ confidence.
According to him, the integrity of institutions like the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Nigeria Police Force and the judiciary, were critical to the realisation of a credible political transition and stable polity. Yusuf urged all the actors in the political space to refrain from extreme partisan dispositions that could undermine the progress and stability of the Nigerian economy.
Yusuf expressed concern over the persistent challenges in the trade facilitation processes at the nation’s ports and its implications for the cost of doing business in the Nigerian economy, adding that most often, importers were compelled to pay huge demurrage charges for delays which were not of their own making. “There have been reports of delays arising from the Shipping companies, terminal operators and the Nigeria Customs Service. Invariably, the importers are compelled to pay for these short comings,” he said.
Compiled by Anayo Ezugwu
— Feb. 24, 2014 @ 01:00 GMT