We are not responsible for collapse of buildings, Dangote

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Nigeria is notorious for rampant collapse of buildings and now the country’s coalition of civil society groups has expressed grave concern and threatened to demonstrate against major cement producers. West Africa’s largest cement manufacturer and importer, Dangote Cement Plc, is said to be most vulnerable to the feared protests.

Several inspectors in the construction industry suspect that the collapse of buildings could be attributed to poor quality cement, an allegation that has been vehemently denied by the Dangote Cement Plc arguing that their products are up to international standards.

Chief Executive Officer, DVG Edwin, said his company adheres to global best practices of cement production of a minimum of 42.5 grade cement through and above all their factories nationwide. Edwin added that those arguing that migrating from 32.5 to 42.5 would erode their profit margins are insincere and selfish as human lives are more important than profits.

He insisted that the best way to ensure safety of workers as well as occupants of such buildings was to maintain a 42.5 international requirement. Edwin said his company had for the past two years embarked on training programme aimed at educating those that in the construction industry on how to achieve premium results through implementation of the 42.5 cement grade as opposed to 32.5 grade for certain activities.

Elsewhere, the President of Dangote Group of Companies, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, has disclosed that the construction of his refinery in the country would create jobs for 8,000 engineers.

Dangote disclosed the new plan after the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), formally introduced the company to the host communities signalling the formal take off of the multi-billion naira investment at the Lekki Free Trade Zone (LFTZ).

Aliko expressed confidence that the zone holds enormous economic benefits for the state and Nigeria adding that there is no way they can put down over US$9 billion of their money without making sure that the zone is going to work. Dangote said his company would work at a very high speed, adding that the communities would benefit enormously as over 8,000 engineers would be trained while jobs would be created for youths in the communities.

The governor, who brokered truce between the investors and host communities, expressed joy at the development, saying it signals a breakthrough in the quest to fast track development in the zone. Also speaking, the state Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mrs. Sola Oworu, said establishing a refinery in the zone has opened up enormous economic opportunities not only for the state, but for Nigeria. She added that only 35 per cent of the goods to be produced in the zone will be consumed in the state while the rest would be exported.