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Building Collapse: SON urges developers to test materials before use



The Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has urged developers to ensure that quality assessment test was carried out on building materials before using them for construction work to eliminate building collapse.

Mr Osita Aboloma, SON Director General, gave the warning at Real Estate Development Association of Nigeria (REDAN), 2019 Building Expo in Abuja.

He said that quality of products needed to be reconfirmed due to reproduction before they were passed for use.

Aboloma, represented by Mr Paul Oke, a director in SON, said there are set standards before products could be used.

According to him, due to porous nature of Nigeria’s borders, smugglers tend to bring in adulterated materials at the night.

“If you have not carried out a test on any product and you are using it for construction work you are bound to kill people and at the end of the day the question is who is in charge?

“For every material, especially iron rod there is a code on it from manufacturer, if the material fails any test requirement it will be seized and the only way to trace the manufacturer is through that code.

“If you don’t see any of these particular proof it means the product is a suspect and don’t buy or use it. If you pass the message to SON, we will seize the product and stop it from circulation.

The DG said that the integrity of the development of real estate depended on some key factors, which included the use of professionals to conduct preliminary studies and specifications for the proposed building.

In addition, he said it also depended on the use of building materials of right quality and the engagement of professionals to carry out the construction of the building using standard methodologies.

“For the purpose of illustration, a building resulting from the use of high quality building materials but constructed by quacks may not be fit for purpose.

“Likewise a building resulting from the use of sub-standard building materials even if constructed by highly qualified professionals may also not be fit for purpose. The building will crumble.

“Building collapse is rampant and can be reduced completely in the country if all these were put in check.

In his presentation entitled: “Standardisation and Regulation of Building Materials as the Fulcrum of Integrity Based Real Estate Development in Nigeria” he said the integrity of development of real estate revolved around use of standardised materials and professionals.

He said that over the years, SON had done a lot to standardise building materials in Nigeria as well as many other products through the development of Nigerian Industrial Standards (NIS), which specified the minimum acceptable requirements for each product.

According to the DG, SON has put in place Conformity Assessment Programmes to ensure both locally manufactured products and imported ones meet the requirements of relevant standards.

He further said that it also carried out market survey to find out status of products in the market and conduct enforcement exercises to remove substandard products in circulation.

“SON has overseen the development of several NIS in different sectors of the economy of Nigeria over the years and the construction and building industry is not left out.

“Some of the existing NIS for building materials includes: standard for cement, sand-crete blocks, steel reinforcement bars, corrugated roofing sheets and burnt clay building units among others.

The conformity of building materials in Nigeria market to relevant standards is achieved through a twin conformity assessment programmes namely: the Mandatory Conformity Assessment Programme (MANCAP) and SON Conformity Assessment Programme (SONCAP).

MANCAP was put in place to ensure that all locally manufactured products including building materials, meet the requirements of relevant NIS.

SONCAP on the other hand was put in place to ensure that all imported products into Nigeria meets the requirements of the relevant NIS or approved equivalents.

He, however, said that enforcement exercises were carried out based on intelligence to remove substandard products that could get to the market.