The battle for cement grade applications rages on will lead to higher cement production costs which will translate into higher cement prices and lower product availability.
Analysts say stakeholders should be more concerned with poor construction practices, especially adding too much water to concrete, inappropriate mixes and/or excessive extension, which occur because of builders’ ignorance and possibly fraudulent intent.
The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has issued a directive that 52,5 R cement be used for bridges; 42.5R for casting of columns, beams, slabs and for moulding blocks, and 32.5 can used for plastering only.
The war has become so fierce that the anti-32.5 group, which includes Dangote Cement (DangCem) and Cement Standardisation Advocacy Group, among others, insist that the pro-32.5 group which includes Lafarge WAPCO, United Cement Company of Nigeria (UniCem) and Ashaka Cement (AshakaCem) do so for pecuniary reasons and do not have the interest of the country at heart.
Victor O. Oyenuga, immediate past president of the Nigerian Institution of Structural Engineers, stresses that inability to carry out soil tests and involve professionals, as well as poor construction practices are factors causing building collapses, not 32.5-grade cement.