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Building experts express concern over poor quality of blocks

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Concerned about the poor quality of block production, the Building Collapse Prevention Guild (BCPG) on Thursday called for the regulation of the block-making process, to enhance the standard of the products.

The Guild’s National president, Mr Kunle Awobodu, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.

Awobodu identified lack of regulation in the block-making process as a major factor responsible for substandard block production in the country.

According to him, the quality of blocks used in construction of a building, to a great extent, determines the stability of the building, noting that substandard blocks constituted about a 50 per cent cause of building collapse in the country.

He said that block-making had been taken as an “all comers affair,’’ where anybody could come in at any time to start production, due to lack of monitoring and regulation.

“The blocks are a major component of the materials used in building construction.

“As a result, caution needs to be taken to ensure that standards are maintained in their production, in order to stem the occurrence of building collapse,” he said.

Awobodu urged the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and the Association of Block Moulders of Nigeria to be more proactive in monitoring and regulating the activities of the block moulders, to ensure that they conform to prescribed standards.

“The quality of blocks, to a great extent, determines the stability of a building.

“If standard blocks are used in the construction of a building, the tendency is that the building will stand the test of time.

“The only reason for production of substandard blocks is the selfish desire for excessive profit by the producers.

“But block-moulders can still produce standard blocks and still make their profit, irrespective of the high cost of cement,” he explained.

The Guild president said that the mixture level of sand, gravel and water determined the quality and strength of the blocks.

Awobodu explained that the sand to be used for production of blocks must be a clean and not too coarse, adding that the water should also be drinkable.

“The higher the quantity of sand and gravel added to a bag of cement, the lower the quality and strength of the blocks produced.

“This makes it imperative that proper measurements need to be taken to ensure adequate proportion of the components,” he added.

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