By Kingsley Adegboye
The Standards Organisation of Nigeria, SON, and stakeholders in the galvanized steel roofing sheets sector have partnered to introduce an improved stone-coated roofing steel sheets into Nigerian building materials market.
The composite steel sheets have superior qualities and better performance and efficiency over the zinc-coated sheets.
According to the Director- General, SON, Osita Aboloma: “Indeed, the standards body has been inundated with complaints over the thickness and coating of galvanized steel sheets in the country, hence the need to improve on the quality and thickness of steel roofing sheets cannot be overemphasized.”
Speaking on the improved roofing sheets with stakeholders at a technical committee meeting in Lagos last week, Aboloma stated that the new zinc, aluminium and magnesium steel sheets are five times better and stronger than the existing zinc-coated roofing sheets, while elaborating on standards for zinc, aluminium and magnesium-coated steel sheets for general application.
The SON boss who was represented by the Assistant Director and Head, Mandatory Conformity Assessment Programme, MANCAP Unit, SON, Fred Akingbesote, said: “It is a new technology and this is why we are preparing a standard in conjunction with all the stakeholders. To us, the end user is our priority in drafting standards.
“We have considered the cost and the longevity because there is no need to put a product into the market and nobody buys it. The zinc, aluminium and magnesium coating will be suitable and would also give the common man value for money spent,” Aboloma noted.
He, however, stated that the zinc-coated steel sheets would still be in the market, stressing that zinc, aluminium and magnesium would serve as alternatives depending on the choice of the consumers.
“This standard is not just for roofing sheets, but for general application. There are various thickness and coating levels depending on the application,” he said.
Also speaking at the event, chairman of the committee from the Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, University of Lagos, Dr. Henry Mgbemere, said standards keep evolving, adding that the technical meeting was specifically targeted at keeping stakeholders abreast of latest technologies used around the world.
In his words: “Before now, we have been using the zinc coating for coating steel products for roofing, but there is a recent development and we have to key into what is happening around the world, which means there is need for a new standard that would take care of the zinc, aluminium and magnesium coating for general application.”
According to him, when the standards are approved, the common man would be able to purchase more durable and affordable products, adding that the zinc, aluminium and magnesium-coated roofing sheet is more like a composite material that would give consumers value for their hard earned money spent.
“This meeting will provide a workable document that will be agreeable to the manufacturers so that they produce goods that the end users will find consumable. Nigeria is still more of an import-dependent country, but I believe that with the review of the standards and other, we will gradually move from an import-dependent country to a country that manufactures for export,” he said.
The Executive Director, Midland Galvanizing Products Limited, Raj Singh, said zinc, aluminium and magnesium-coated roofing sheet is five times better corrosion- resistant product suitable for the Nigerian environment, pointing out that the life span of the product is five times better than the zinc- coated steel roofing sheet.
“Zinc coating is a sacrificial corrosion, but if you add aluminium and magnesium, the corrosion reduces drastically. This trend is the same all over the world. This is a pride for Nigeria and with the help of SON and stakeholders in the industry, Nigerian consumers should expect nothing but quality when the standard is finally approved from the standards council,” Singh said.
The stakeholders commended the efforts of the current leadership of SON under Aboloma for partnering with the various sectors to improve products’ quality and competitiveness for export.