FG TO SET UP MONITORING COMMITTEE FOR BUILDING SECTOR, AS SON TASKS STEEL PLANT OPERATORS ON QUALITY

Owing to the incessant collapse of buildings in the country, the Federal Government is set to constitute a committee on monitoring of Buildings under Construction, to be made up of regulatory agencies, professional bodies and other stakeholders relevant to the sector.

Director General, Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Osita Aboloma Esq. stated this at a forum with steel plant owners and representatives in Lagos.

He tasked steel plant operators in the country to imbibe the tenets of standards and quality in manufacturing of their products in order to continually safeguard the lives and properties of the citizenry.

According to him, SON and indeed stakeholders cannot afford to compromise the quality of steel products as a critical material in the building and construction sector, categorized as life endangering products. The performance of the sector, he said is dependent on local manufacturers complying with the minimum requirements of the Nigeria Industrial Standards, NIS 117:2004.

Aboloma stated that the meeting was convened following observations of discrepancies between conformity of steel products at factory level and samples drawn from market surveillance and building collapse sites in the areas of mass/metre, yield strength and rib geometry.

He introduced the new Coordinator of the SON Task Force on National Steel monitoring, Engr. Williams Okpeh, stressing that the body has mandate to intervene and conduct unannounced factory visits to carry out necessary compliance tests where and when necessary.

Aboloma also informed the gathering of the impending review of the Nigeria Industrial standard for steel reinforcement bars as well as consideration of Euro Norm 1-9 for adoption as Nigeria Industrial standard to enhance international best practices in the Steel manufacturing sector in Nigeria. Invitation letters and comment templates, according to him will be sent out to stakeholder for inputs at working group and technical committee meetings levels in a bid to have an all-inclusive process.

Contributing on behalf of the steel plant owners, Mr. Ravi Sharma of African Foundries Ltd. noted that steel bars are a component of building and construction and should not be isolated for to in cases of building collapse. He pledged the cooperation of the sector to SON and the Federal Government to make building collapse a thing of the past.

Also speaking at the occasion, SON Director Operations, stated that the insistence on labelling and mill certificate on steel products has greatly assisted ongoing investigations to some building collapse incidences in the country with regards to identification and traceability of steel bars used. He also disclosed plans to publish names of companies and brands with the Mandatory Conformity Assessment Programme (MANCAP) certification to guide consumer choices of certified steel bars in the markets.

In his contribution, SON Director, Inspectorate and Compliance, Engr. Obiora Manafa, sought the cooperation of local manufacturers of steel through classified information to stem the tide of imported substandard steel bars into the country and ensure a level playing field for all stakeholders.



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