The management of Dangote Cement has clarified its position on the new cement standard as stipulated by the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), saying its position is purely motivated by the need to preserve the lives and property of Nigerians.
The company said it supported the new cement quality standard as it believe that it could help in stemming the tide of building collapse that became rampant recently.
It said though it supports the recent classification of cements as being necessary in the face of building collapses in the country, but it is not the promoter as being insinuated by competitors.
The Director of Dangote Cement, Mr Ekanem Etim, said in Lagos while speaking on the cement standard controversy “It is only economic saboteurs and profiteers that would kick against the new standard for cement production as other countries of the world have moved up beyond the level and the low grade being canvassed by some of the manufacturers opposed to the new standard.”
Etim said the review and the classification was coming too late after the nation and its citizens have been subjected to harrowing experience of loss of lives and properties and that the regulatory body should spare no further time to enforce the implementation of the new standard.
He said: “SON is not asking for anything out of this world, just switch, though it might cost more, it is necessary in the interest of the people and the country and wonder why a company which has been operating in the country for decades would find it difficult to switch to 42.5″.
Tracing the history of the classification as not being alien to cement manufacturers in the country, he noted that “the SON had always set 42.5 as the minimum standard when preponderance of consumption was being serviced with imports and all were importing 42.5 grade, with the little local production being 32.5 grade and now that production has been domesticated, what SON has only done is to extend the 42.5 to cover local production.”
According to him, the Technical Committee of the SON, which comprised all stakeholders in the building and construction industry including all cement manufacturers, had in the wake of wide spread protest against the collapse of structures across the country in which fingers were being pointed to the low quality of cement as being a key factor in the structure failures, met to review the existing standard.
Etim stated that it would not because of name calling by competitors abandon the cause of the people pointing out that as the largest cement manufacturer in the country, it owes the people a duty to give them quality product that will wreck their lives and property.