By JIMOH BABATUNDE & FRANKLIN ALLI
As a way of checking incessant building collapses in the country, the Federal Government has ordered certification of blocks and concrete sector of the economy by Standards Organisation of Nigeria under its Mandatory Conformity Assessment Programme, MANCAP, for local manufacturers.
Government gave the order through the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment during a sensitisation workshop organised by SON, for manufacturers of sandcrete and allied products.
Dr. Samuel Ortom, Minister of State in the ministry said the Federal Government was worried over the high incidence of building collapse despite technological development, especially in a situation where most collapsed buildings were recently built or under construction.
He said it is for the same reasons that the SON launched its campaign of Zero Tolerance to Substandard Products, and also put in place its Mandatory Conformity Assessment Programme (MANCAP), saying all sandcrete block makers are expected to be certified under the MANCAP.
”I urge all the participants to listen to what SON officials would say at this forum. Unlike other stakeholders, sandcrete block makers are not facing competition from imported products”.
Ortom said he would direct the SON to commence complete implementation of the MANCAP after the workshop, saying that no operator would have any reason not to comply.
He expressed satisfaction at the passion and commitment that Odumodu was brining to the work, and urged stakeholders to support it.
Dr. Joseph Odumodu, SON Director General, said the issue of buildings collapses has become worrisome, costing human and material resources while also affecting the local and international image of the government, its agencies and the country.
“Any time a building collapses, it casts aspersion on regulatory agencies. We are set to sanitise the sandcrete block production sector; we want to ensure that operators earn their living without endangering lives. Any time a building material fails durability or safety tests, it leaves a question mark on all stakeholders concerned.
In fact, it is incidences of this nature that have continually affected the international acceptability of Nigerian-made products, an unfortunate situation which the SON intervention policies have been fighting doggedly.” the SON’s chief helmsman deposed.