by WOLE OLADIMEJI
Dangote Cement Plc yesterday warned the Federal Government of ‘serious danger’ if cement manufacturers were continuously allowed to produce low-grade cement for buildings.
The company, which attributed the increasing rate of collapse building in the country, to the use of lowgrade cement, stated that something has to be done to stem the production of substandard cement for the construction of houses.
Speaking at the public hearing of the House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee on Composition and Pigmentation of Cement Products yesterday, the Group Managing Director/CEO of Dangote Cement, Mr. D.V.G. Edwin, said Nigerians must choose between profit and saving lives.
Edwin, who said his company started producing the high-grade 42.5R cement since 2006, added that it was counter-productive and life-threatening to allow other manufacturers to keep supplying inferior products into the Nigerian market.
He said countries like India and China had both phased out the low-grade cement being produced by Nigerian local manufacturers.
According to him, in spite of the superior grade of the Dangote Cement, it has not increased price.
Edwin estimated that, between 1974 and 2010, collapse building incidents had claimed 297 lives.
He said Dangote Group is the only cement company in the country producing the superior grade of 42.5R.
The Chairman of the committee, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, wondered why Nigeria should continue to produce the low-grade 32.5 and substandard cement, while the world is moving ahead.
Dogara said: “There is no gainsaying the fact that the serial incidents of building collapse in the country has become a source of anxiety.
“Some have blamed substandard materials, including cement, while others have blamed it (collapse building) on lack of regulatory framework.”
Contributing, the President of the Cement Manufacturers Association of Nigerian, CMAN, Mr. Joseph Makoju, said the 42.5 grade is superior to 32.5 cement, adding that Nigeria used to produce and import 42.5 before the coming of the latter grade.
by WOLE OLADIMEJI