Dangote Cement Plc has clarified that the reason for the introduction of the higher cement grade the 52.5N, was to offer consumers variety of choices in their quest for quality products.
This is just as block makers commended the initiatives of the cement company in producing a higher grade of the product at a time the quality of cement had become an issue.
Group Managing Director of the Company, Devakumar Edwin told a group of block makers who visited his office at the weekend that the new cement grade would be produced alongside the 42.5 grade noting that Dangote Cement would not relent in the quest to sanitize the industry and rid the market of lower quality cement.
According to him the launching of the new cement was one of the responses of Dangote Cement as a leading manufacturer of the commodity in Africa to the efforts at stemming the tide of building collapse relating to cement.
The block makers who visited the Group Headquarter of the Company in Lagos said the new cement would offer cement users opportunity to choose which grade suits their construction as opposed to the former situation where a grade of cement is used for almost all constructions.
They also stated that with the new 52.5N grade, the chances of substandard cement finding their ways into the market is further reduced.
It would be recalled that Dangote Cement Plc at a press briefing had announced the commencement of a production of a higher grade of cement, 52.5N, being first in Africa to produce such.
Edwin told newsmen the 52.5N has been a standard already in existence and that it was just that Dangote Cement decided to be producing it to add to the choices of quality cement available in the market for its consumers.
Stating that the new brand is now being produced from all of its three plants in Ibese, Ogun state, Gboko, Benue state and Obajana in Kogi state, the GMD disclosed that it would sell for the same amount as the 42.5 despite that the cost of production is higher. “it is in the interest of our customers to make it affordable”, he stated.
Basking in the euphoria of the new feat, Edwin disclosed that the new cement grade, which has been certified by the Standard Organization (SON), as conforming to the requirements of NIS 444-2003 and other relevant standard institutions would be made available in all parts of the country.
Edwin flaunted before newsmen, 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 is the best for any civil construction having load bearing colum.
Edwin stated that though Dangote Cement was also the first to produce the 42.5N grade earlier 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.
In his contribution, Engr. 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 is 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 colums”, Makoju explained.