FG Pledges Support for SON

Minister of State for Trade and investment, Samuel Orton has assured that the federal government is prepared to work with the Standards Organisation of Nigeria, SON, the Building Collapse Prevention Guild, BCPG and other bodies to put an end to incessant building collapse in Nigeria.

The minister said this today while speaking as the chief host at the zonal stakeholders’ forum on sandcrete, a sensitisation programme organised by SON to enlighten the public on the new cement grades and other important issues on building and construction matters.

Ortom who unveiled the prototype of new cement bags at the event said customers’ satisfaction can be attained and their confidence can be won only when procedures stipulated by the Nigerian standard regulatory body are followed and this would in turn boost the country’s economy.

At the programme themed “Safeguarding Lives Through Compliance with Standards,” participants were shown how to test for strength of blocks manually with a testing machine. They were also sensitised on building materials mixture and presented with certificates of participation at the end of the programme.

Rasheed Adebowale, national president of the National Association of Block Moulders of Nigeria, NABMON commended SON for the programme and other enlightenment workshops it organised earlier for its members. He later announced to members that blocks in moulded in the nine inches grade will now be sold for two hundred naira while six inches blocks would go for N180, to ensure block moulders earn more money and stick to standards. The NABMON national president also announced that it is now compulsory for block moulders to stamp their blocks for identification and made it known that it is now mandatory for all block moulders to register for the association’s new national identity card through SON while assuring that the forms would soon be present in all states of the federation.

In his remarks, Joseph Odumodu, SON’s director general said incessant building collapse tarnishes the image of the country, adding that the body will do all it can to curb the trend. Odumodu made it known that starting from October 1, 2014; cements bags that do not comply with the newly unveiled image will be removed from the market.

Kunle Awofodu, BCPG national chairman who led the participants in the block strength test emphasised the importance of concrete mixture at sites and reiterated the significance of tapping from the experiences of competent engineers to build long lasting structures.

Speakers at the event made reference to the recent building collapse that claimed a lot of lives and urged Nigerian to alert necessary bodies whenever they get wind of any substandard products, as they never can tell who might fall victim of such products.

Esther Adewumi, a participant at the event expressed satisfaction at the programme saying it would be a good idea if SON could organise such gathering at least on a yearly basis. “Everything went well but for the stress we have to go through before having our certificates of participation. The presentations are quite enlightening and educative. I just hope the organisers would work on the lapses against next time,” Adewumi said.

Other participants at the event who spoke with the magazine said they have gained a lot from the programme adding that it would be ideal if such programme can be continuous.


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