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Anambra Building Collpse: Obiano Backs SON on Cement Standardization


Anambra State Governor Willie Obiano has expressed concern over the frequency of building collapse in Onitsha and has thrown his weight behind recent efforts by Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to curb the menace through cement classification and uses.

Obiano, while receiving the SON Director General Dr. Joseph Odumodu in Government House, Awka, who paid him a visit after inspecting some collapsed buildings within the Onitsha metropolis, explained that the Agency’s public enlightenment on cement grade and their various uses was timely and capable of arresting the troubling trends of building collapse that has plagued the nation in recent years.

Official-PortraitThe SON DG was in Anambra State on fact-finding visit to three buildings under construction that collapsed within the month.

The Governor said that prior to the SON’s enlightenment campaign, he had thought just as most Nigerians that ‘cement is cement ‘, not knowing that there are grades of cement meant for different uses or that cement has a shelf life.

Commending SON on the cement specification which restricted 32.5 to plastering only, while 42.5 is certified for all purposes and 52.5 for specialized construction, Gov. Obiano said his government is in full support of the scheme and will collaborate with the Agency to ensure that all standards are adhered to and his people enlightened.

According to him, the enlightenment is very vital as it will enable people to know the right materials to buy when building their houses adding that people build houses to live in safely and not for the house to collapse on them and kill them while those renting their houses out expect returns.

He expressed dismay that three houses under construction came down in Onitsha within a period of one month.

The SON Director General informed the Governor that prior to cement specification, the regulatory agency sanitized the re-enforcement bar sub-sector, as a result of which, big construction firms now source their re-enforcement bars locally as confidence has grown in the sector.

Odumodu on visiting the sites of the collapsed buildings expressed worried that while majority of the buildings collapsing are new ones with few old ones involved.

He said SON will focus on public enlightenment to enable people know the type of materials to be used for different types of building adding that cement bags are to carry specifications on grade and usage as wrong application of cement has been found to be a key cause of building collapse.


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