Long history of building collapses in Nigeria


Rescue workers remove the rubble of a collapsed four-storey building at Idumota in Lagos on July 7, 2011.

JOHANNESBURG - Buildings collapsing are a regular occurrence in Nigeria.

The Coalition of Nongovernmental Organisations blames the Standards Organisation of Nigeria to the Consumer Protection Commission for allowing the use of inferior cement.

In April, the House of Representatives set up an ad-hoc committee to probe local cement producers.

The coalition says local companies are producing 32.5-grade cement, which is unsuitable for building.

They accuse the Standards Organisation of Nigeria of allowing these products onto the market, while barring the importing of 42.5-grade cement.

Dangote Cement Plc found itself in the middle of the storm.

As the largest cement producer in the country, it controls about 60 percent of the market.

It&39;s also Africa&39;s fastest growing cement producer in 14 countries on the continent.

The group has defended its production and welcomed the probe.

It said it had always produced high grade cement, in all three of its plants in the country.

Team Action International, which researches real estate investment in Nigeria, says there could several factors leading to building collapses.

Topping the list is poor design and the use of poor building materials.

Foundation challenges are another – it is common practice for developers to convert bungalows into multi-storey buildings.

Incorrect reading of building plans is also named, as a result of the use of unskilled labour.

Non-compliance with correct construction method, and a lack of proper maintenance also feature.

The Standards Organisation of Nigeria has denied allow substandard cement onto the market, and says the probe will prove this assertion right.

The video below contains interview with eNCA Africa business analyst Ramathibela-Smith on the state of the construction and cement industries in Nigeria:



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