- Stakeholders Seek Ban on Manual Block Production
Stakeholders in the construction industry have called for a ban on the use of manually produced blocks for building construction in order to check the menace of structural failures and collapse.
A professor of building at the University of Lagos, Godwin Idoro, in a paper presented at the Building Collapse Prevention Guild’s workshop for block moulders in Lagos, said that to prevent the production of substandard blocks, the combined efforts of all stakeholders, including governments and their Ministries, Departments and Agencies; professional bodies, clients, designers and consultants, contractors, suppliers and block producers was required.
Idoro said, “The use of non-mechanical method of production should be stopped; it is time for all stakeholders to discourage the use of manually produced blocks. There is a need to encourage fabrication and production of better locally produced block moulding machines.
“There should also be adoption of certification of blocks. For this purpose, the Standards Organisation of Nigeria, the Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute, universities, polytechnics and the Nigerian Institute of Building can be empowered to develop conditions, conduct inspections and award their certification, which can be used in design specifications.”
He noted that there should also be periodic renewal of block production certification and development of codes and standards on sandcrete blocks by government agencies, in collaboration with research institutions and professional bodies, as well as regular training of block moulders on the standards.
“Government should make it mandatory for blocks to carry the name of producers, brand name, date of manufacture and expiration like other manufactured products, and the government should have classification of block manufacturers as SMEs and provide financial support to them like other SMEs,” he added.
Idoro also suggested that there should be periodic testing of the properties of blocks by contractors and other users before purchase.
The President, BCPG, Mr. Kunle Awobodu, said the frequent increase in the production cost of blocks in recent times due to the continuous rise in the price of cement and other production variables had encouraged compromise in the quality of blocks.
He said the formation of the National Association of Block Moulders of Nigeria was a necessary step at improving on the quality of blocks, adding that the BCPG, in collaboration with SON, had been supporting the association in observing standards in the production of sandcrete blocks.
Awobodu said that learning from the experience of the Synagogue Church of All Nations’ building that collapsed on September 12, 2014, the BCPG Igando-Ikokun Cell had taken it as a social responsibility to host block moulders across the state to a workshop aimed at reducing sharp practices in the block moulding industry to forestall a building collapse crisis.
He noted, “Most of the blocks that are made today are not properly cured as they are taken to site for use before one to one and a half week minimal period for curing. The major reason for this sharp practice is due to the fact that most block moulders do not have sufficient funds to acquire adequate expanse of land for spreading and stacking of the blocks, and also because of their inability to manufacture the product well ahead of the time for its demand.
“To overcome this shortcoming or impatience, cement manufacturers are forced to produce rapid hardening cement for blocks.
“Undue competition and rivalry have also made some block moulders to sell below production costs for standard blocks, which has, invariably, led to gradual quality reduction in block production. The need to let block moulders form an association in order to facilitate communication and equate realistic prices in view of fluctuating production costs cannot be overemphasized. This will, of course, reduce the level of cheating induced by competition.”
A former Chairman of the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors, Lagos Chapter, Mr. Tijani Lasisi, who spoke on how to produce high quality sandcrete blocks, said the country was blessed with a lot of cement factories but that there was a need to use the good cement diligently without cutting corners.
MTN Nigeria, Gameloft Partner to Increase Access to Variety of Exciting Games
MTN Nigeria announced it has partnered with Gameloft, a leader in the development and publishing of games, to increase access to a variety of fun and exciting games online.
The telecommunications giant in collaboration with its new partner, Gameloft announced the launch of MTN Gameworld, a new gaming platform for its subscribers.
According to MTN, the new platform will allow the Nigerian growing gaming community access to a lot of unique games online through an extensive premium catalogue from Gameloft and other renowned publishers.
Commenting on the partnership, Srinivas Rao, the Chief Digital Officer, MTN Nigeria, said, “We are constantly seeking to deliver innovative products that support the aspirations of our customers, whilst delivering superior user experience. This partnership allows us to provide our customers with access to a variety of exhilarating games from Gameloft and other leading publishers at an affordable rate.”
MTN Gameworld will allow subscribed customers access to a variety of games, which they can play at subsidised data rates through the MTN Gameworld app. Android, iOS and Windows phone users can subscribe via SMS, app, web, USSD menu (*447#), 131 USSD menu and any other MTN customer channel.
President Buhari Commissions 5,000bpd Modular Refinery Built in Imo State
President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday commissioned the 5,000 barrels per day modular refinery built by Waltersmith Group in Imo State.
President Buhari, who commissioned the new modular refinery virtually, said the refinery will enable Nigeria to export petroleum products to neighbouring countries and other markets.
The 5,000 barrels per day Waltersmith Modular Refinery is the first phase of 50,000 barrels per day combined capacity plant planned for Imo State, according to the Group.
Buhari commended Waltersmith Group, an indigenous oil firm, and the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board for the collaboration that led to the actualisation of the modular refinery.
President Buhari, therefore, directed the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, the Department of Petroleum Resources and all other relevant government agencies to provide Waltersmith all the necessary support in terms of access to crude oil and condensate feedstock.
Buhari said, “We rolled out our refining roadmap in 2018, to address challenges in the downstream sector. After many years of government giving out modular refining licences without any coming on-stream, we are today seeing a commissioning within two years.
“The plan to commence the expansion of this refinery to 50,000bpd capacity, to refine crude oil and condensate, is a demonstration of the economic reform Nigeria is undergoing.
“The realisation of the refinery roadmap will ultimately lead us to becoming a net exporter of petroleum products, not only to our neighbouring countries but to other wide markets,” he said.
Elon Musk Net Worth Jumps by $100 Billion this Year to Topple Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Others
Elon Musk, the Chief Executive Officer and founder of Tesla, is now the world’s second-richest person following another surge in the price of Tesla share.
Musk total net worth jumped by $7.6 billion to $110 billion between November 16 and 17 to dethrone Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, from the third position.
Since then, Tesla stock has been on a bullish run and in the last 24 hours added $7.24 billion to Elon Musk’s total net worth, according to Bloomberg Billionaire Index. Bringing the billionaire’s total net worth to $128 billion.
Elon Musk’s net worth rose from just $28 billion in January 2020 to $128 billion on November 24, 2020, representing an increase of $100 billion, the highest by any billionaire.
Musk has finally toppled Bill Gates as the second richest person and for the first time, Bill Gates is the third richest man in the world. This is the first time in almost 40 years that Gates will be in the third position.
Billionaires listed on Bloomberg Index have collectively gained $1.3 trillion this year.
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