In a move to reduce incidences of building collapse and other construction failures that may have been due to the quality of the cement available for use, Dangote Cement has announced the completion of the calibration of its factories across the country to produce 52.5 grade of the product.
The announcement which was made on Monday, March 10, 2014 makes the company the the first cement company in Africa to achieve this feat.
The new development will lay to rest, the agitations of by various interest groups, over the standardisation of the essential product and address their major concern.
This Day reports:
The stakeholders had warned that the prevalence of 32.5 cement grade in the market was a major cause of building collapse in the country, threatening to stage protests against cement manufacturers who produce the lower grade of the product.
In response to the stakeholders’ threat, Dangote Cement had announced that it produces only 42.5 grade of cement from its plants, while other cement makers tried to explain that the lower 32.5 grade did not pose the dangers identified by the stakeholders.
However, the Group Managing Director of Dangote Cement, Devakumar Edwin, told journalists in Lagos that they had further demonstrated their commitment to delivering high quality and safe product to Nigerians, by raising the quality bar beyond the high grade 42.5 cement to a much higher grade of 52.5.
He said the company had commenced the production of the cement grade from all of its three plants in Ibese, Ogun State, Gboko, Benue State and Obajana in Kogi State.
Edwin said the cement giant had scored another first as the 52.5 grade of cement was being produced in Africa for the first time, thus attesting to the resolve of the company to be a leading international producer of the essential product.
Basking in the euphoria of the new feat, Edwin disclosed that the new cement grade, which had been certified by the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), as conforming to the requirements of NIS 444-2003 and other relevant standards, would sell for the same amount as the lower grade 42.5N type.
Giving reasons for this, the GMD stated that it costs more to produce the 52.5 grade but that Dangote Cement decided to sell at the same price in the interest of its customers and so as to make it affordable to all.
He flaunted before journalists, the SON certificate, which read in part “considering the inspection carried out at your factory by a team of SON officers and the outcome of the laboratory samples of the product of your company, I have the pleasure to inform you that the under listed product of your company is hereby adjuged by the SON to conform to the requirements of NIS 444-1:2003 and other relevant standards.
He explained that the new cement could be used for all construction purposes but that it was the best for any civil construction having bearing column.
Edwin stated that Dangote Cement was also the first to produce the 42.5 grade, while other manufacturers were churning out 32.5 grade, pointing out that the desire to constantly research into how to improve the quality of its products necessitated the new cement grade.
The Dangote Cement boss reasoned that with the quality of the higher grade of cement, the incidence of building collapse would be better controlled.
In his contribution, Mr. Joe Makoju, the Honorary Adviser to the President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, described the introduction of the new cement as ground breaking, saying Nigeria was now one of the best quality producers of cement in the world.
“No matter the sophistication of the structure, this is the best grade for any civil construction. Dangote did not create the standard. The standard has been there, we have only blazed the trail by starting its production. Its’ good for lead bearing columns,” Makoju explained.