To aid standardisation of steel products in the country, the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has said that all new and existing steel companies must produce their products to meet the minimum requirements, using optical emission spectrometer.
The Director-General, SON, Dr. Joseph Odumodu said his administration specifically paid particular interest in the steel sub-sector to ensure that all the steel products produced in the nation meet the minimum requirements.
Odumodu, in a statement made available to The Guardian, explained that every steel company in the country must purchase the right universal textile testing machines and the optical emission spectrometer for chemical analysis to ensure that every steel produced in the country is of good standard.
Going forward, he said he had called a stakeholders’ meeting where he gave steel producers the marching order to ensure that steel manufacturers acquire the right testing machines for chemical analysis to ensure that they give exactly what the strength should be when the material is being rolled out.
“All the steel companies in the country today have complied with these order. The next step is the implementation and monitoring, to ensure that all the products that are coming out is properly tested and this will do on a monthly basis to ensure that any product that comes out of the company complies with the standard,” he said.
He added that most of the steel companies in the country today have either acquired its Mandatory Conformity Assessment Programme (MANCAP) or are almost at the verge of acquiring the certificate.
“Today, I am proud to say that locally made steel products especially the reinforcement bars produced by Nigerian companies are of the right quality and can compete with imported product.In terms of the chemical composition, the sizes of the materials which ranges from 8millimetres, 10millimitres, 12millimetres and the likes,” he said.
He added that about three of these companies have also upgraded to the weldable steel grade using the tempo process to produce weldable steel bars which has very high strength with carbon equivalent values and said that these are comparable with imported products from Ukraine, Turkey known for steel works.
“We believe that we are taking a right step in the right direction in ensuring that these products that are imported are monitored from the ports but the only problem that we are having presently is the directives given to us to leave the ports but today we can bet you that the locally produced steel products are properly monitored and they are complying while the imported ones are not also doing badly because we have not had cases of meeting the substandard ones in the course of our monitoring exercises where we go from warehouse to warehouse to ensure that those ones we missed at the ports also meet the minimum requirements.,” he said.
He pointed out that Nigerians prefer imported steel bars over locally produced ones but stressed that both have the same strength according to the test carried out by the organisation.
He noted that for traceability, every steel product that is in circulation today has an identification mark, which helps steel manufacturers identify their products in the market.
On the issue of collapsed buildings, he said reinforcement bars are not responsible for building collapses saying that steel bars with the right strength and chemical equation not put into effective and professional use can also lead to collapse of buildings.
“If the right sizes are not used where they are supposed to be used, the environmental impact analysis not well carried out and of course an unqualified engineer to handle such a structure, a collapse is likely to happen,” he added.
He pointed out that anytime there is a building collapse in the country, SON checks to find out the kind of steel bars and sizes that are used at different levels.
“You do not use any kind of rods in the construction of a building, you must know the specifications to be used in constructing any structure you are building. We take the samples and even make sure that they were used in the right proportions and we also look at other aggregates such the number of blocks and cement used. The skill of the man who is handling the project, the selection of the materials, the quality of the materials, the aggregate are all the factors to be considered to construct a building. So, if you do not use them right, the building will come down,” he stressed.
He added that collaborations is one of the pillars in carrying out its operations, maintaining that SON has partnered professional engineering bodies to achieve its mandate and also called for other meaningful partnerships.
source: The Guardian Nigeria