With the effort to reduce cases of collapsed buildings in Nigeria, a cement manufacturing giant, Lafarge WAPCO, last week urged artisans within the construction industry to at all times keep specific standards in block moulding. This was said last week in Lagos during the company’s intensive training and seminar for artisans in Lagos. The move, it was learnt was part of the Lafarge’s efforts to ensure high quality works in the construction industry and continuous effort at militating against failed buildings in the country; the training therefore, centered on the procedure and requirement for block molding.

According to Mr. Soji Okesina, who was the guest trainer at the forum, to make a quality block, the materials mixture should be in the ratio 1:8 of the materials. Through continuous extensive trainings of artisans within the construction a cement manufacturing company, Lafarge WAPCO says it plans to expose the nation’s craftsmen to standards and thereby reducing cases of building collapse in NigeriaThis include sharp sand, clean water and cement, in the ratio 720 kg of sand (that is four wheel barrow load of sand), 20 litres of water and one 50kg bag of cement to produce 28 pieces of nine inches blocks.

Okesina said that using such mix guarantees a high strength for the block, ensures its resistance to dampness, thermal insulation, sound insulation and also fire.

The trainer, an engineer, in his lecture titled “Standard quality blocks in construction,” said that the mix quality remains very critical to making quality blocks. He regrets that artisans were in the habit of making poor and substandard block because of their desire to make excessive profit, poor product knowledge, poor supervision, wrong selection of materials, poor workmanship, amongst others. He charged block makers to make sure that their moulding machines are always in good condition by ensuring that it is adequately maintained, especially after producing about 6, 000 blocks. Okesina who eulogized Lafarge for its “Elephant Supaset” cement, described it as “a specific application cement with an innovative formulation that meets the high standard, early strength and long term durability,” which he said is used in specialised applications such as precast, block making, and general concrete applications.

In the same vein, a distributor with Lafarge Mr. Tunde Samard, who has been trading in the company’s products for over a decade further supported Okesina’s testimony. According to Samard the Supaset cement is an “excellent product with good quality, durable and affordable.”

He therefore encouraged the block makers to ensure they use good and quality material for their blocks if they hope to remain successful in their trade.

The Lagos Island Regional Manager, Lafarge, Mr. Segun Odukoya, remarked that the block makers remained a pillar behind the continued successes being recorded by the firm.

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