#HARDFACTS: LSMTL to Solve Building Collapse Issues
By Jude Chukwuemeka
One of the biggest issues begging for attention in Lagos State is the incessant building collapse that has gotten not just the government but also stakeholders, local residents and international observers worried for many years. Sandra Ezekwesili takes up the issue on the Big #HardFacts.
She engages General Manager of the Lagos State Material Testing Laboratory, Dr. Abiodun Tajudeen Afolabi in a deep conversation about how the laboratory will achieve its aim.
During the conversation, Dr. Afolabi says the Lagos State Material Testing Laboratory (LSMTL) has partnered the National Association of Block Moulders of Nigeria (NABMON) to ensure that the days of badly moulded blocks are over.
The State governmen plans to register and inspect all block moulders in Lagos state. Government says it is clamping down on the moulders to make sure that the materials being used are up to required standard. Many block moulders who don’t use enough cement in making blocks have had their companies closed already.
The question is, does government have the capacity to reach each out to all Local Governments of Lagos State and properly inspect all block moulders in the state?
Dr. Afolabi assures Sandra that finding all block makers in Lagos is not a hard task at all, since there is a database of all of them. NABMON has the database in possession. As regards how many blocks the laboratory can test in a day, the manager says up to 150 blocks can be tested in a day.
“What we will do is a random job. We will take six blocks from every moulder and take these to our office. We are not concerned about taking all the blocks of a moulder at once. We will test for strength in blocks and absorption of water in different stages."
Talking about standards, Dr. Afolabi says that the laboratory is measuring up to the latest standards endorsed by Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON).
Lagos State Government plans to shut down block industries that don’t comply and get those that comply re-registered. Lagos wants to make sure that every block is stamped at production stage so that if there is a building collapse, the blocks can lead to tracing the block moulder and the company can be prosecuted.
Government has laden the responsibility on LSMTL to ensure that block moulders must use one bag of cement to mold at least 25 to 30 blocks, as emphasized on Big Hard Facts.
At the present time, how many block industries stick to this rule? To keep cost down, many block moulders are tempted to make as many blocks as they can from one bag of cement.
But not only will blocks be tested, Dr. Afolabi says all building materials will be tested as any of these may be responsible for building collapse. To further assure Nigerians of the success that the laboratory have, he mentions that there are mechanical engineers, civil engineers, geologists and other experts working with him, so Nigerians don’t need to worry at all.
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Have you noticed any block industry in your area moulding substandard blocks? Call the Lagos State Material Testing Laboratory.