SON to check production of substandard blocks.

Worried about the persistent building collapse in the country, the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has resolved to deploy the use of block testing machines to check production of substandard blocks in the country.

The Director-General of SON, Osita Aboloma, explained that block moulders play a very critical role in economic development, saying that the agency is strengthening its collaboration with block moulders in the country by rolling out these machines in large numbers to give block moulders the opportunity to test their blocks while also complying to standards.

The SON boss during a courtesy visit by block moulders to the agency’s operational office in Lagos, said: “This meeting is to keep up the collaboration we have been having with block moulders. We believe their job is very important and we cannot tolerate the incidence of substandard blocks that will lead to building collapse in the country. This menace is a threat to any society, a drain to the economy and danger to the lives of people and properties.

“We have a programme to train the block moulders in the six geographical zones, we have done three, we have three more to complete and in addition to that, we have just commissioned a made-in-Nigeria block testing machine. We are going to collaborate with them to roll out these machines in large numbers to assist them in testing the blocks and complying with standards.

“I have heard about the robust collaboration you have been having with SON, which I commend. In our efforts to diversify the economy from a single product, I came across your organization’s activities and this has given me the strong will to restate my support to the association. The task of building the economy is a collective responsibility.

“The menace of building collapse is very worrying. It is not rocket science to know that the actual people we will work with to address this menace is the block moulders at the grassroots. We are in the process of deploying about 55 locally made block testing machines. This is part of our efforts to increase the patronage of made-in-Nigeria goods as against the imported ones. This will go a long to help your association get the right and quality blocks.”

He however called on block moulders to insist on producing blocks that meet the minimum requirement of the Nigeria Industrial Standard (NIS) regardless of the current state of the economy, stressing that the value of human life cannot be quantified.

“There is no doubt that the economy is in recession, but at the same time, we must not compromise standards and anybody that falls short of the standards, will have to face the wrath of the law. You need to put more effort in sensitizing your members and collaborate with our field officers to certify the blocks you produce.

“This is going to be a continuous task. We will keep training and retraining people and also sensitize people about complying to standards, because the block moulders play a vital role in national development.

“We are here to support you and if there is another way you need our support, please do not hesitate to say. As you come to register with us, we will create a database so that we can have all the accredited block makers who comply to standards under one umbrella,” he added.

Earlier, the National President, National Association of Block Moulders of Nigeria, Rasheed Adebowale, (NABMON) said, “We are here to meet with you to bolster our collaboration with the agency to assist us in producing quality and standard blocks in the country. We believe this synergy is critical to address building collapse in the country.”

“I am so happy with this move by SON to deploy block testing machines, if we have this support from SON, it will go a long way to address the issue of quality. Although, we have a mechanism to check against substandard,” he added.

According to him, the association plays a major role in economic development in terms of employment, employing about 10 million people in the country with a membership base of over 45,000 producing blocks.

The Chairman, National Planning Committee, Block Makers of Nigeria, (NABMON), Segun Banjoko, tasked SON to establish a database of all block makers in the country to check production of sub-standard blocks.

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