Engr. Nnamdi Udoh is one of the foremost engineers in the country today. Two weeks back in Lekki, he spoke about his new company, Nustar Nigeria Limited which he floated to provide a lasting solution to a building collapse in Lagos, more especially on the water logged areas of the state.
He spoke about the new product Gbar Gbolt, an alternative to building Iron Rods, which he says has 35 years of life span to Gbar Gbolt of 100 years of life span.
What is Gbar-Gbolt actually? Why hasn’t it hit the market? What is the advantage of using it and why is it preferred in the Western countries over the conventional building Iron Rod?
These are some of the questions City People ISAAC ABIMBADE, asked the man behind this new product two weeks ago.
Mazi Nnamdi Udoh (Ugwu Aro) was born to Senator Henry Nwafor Udoh and Madam Uzoma Udoh. He joined NAMA in 1980 after completing a course at the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology Zaria where he was President of the Student Union. While there, he organized the first ever Aviation and Technical institution games hosted at Zaria in 1980.
He furthered his education by obtaining an Air Traffic Safety Electronics License at the School of Aviation in Langen, Germany. He also attended City University of London where he studied Air Safety, obtaining a Masters of Science degree in 2006.
Mazi Nnamdi Udoh was appointed to the position of CEO/MD at the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency on 5 October, 2011. Prior to that, he held posts as Executive Director electronic and engineering services, [General Manager] of project and surveillance, special advisor on projects monitoring to the Minister of Aviation after serving as Airspace Manager to Ilorin international airport.
His name is commonly used in conjunction with the multi-billion naira Total Radar Coverage of Nigeria Project (TRACON) which delivers modern Air Traffic Systems at all Nigerian airports nationwide. He is also famous with the saying “NO MONEY, NO SAFETY”.
On 18 October, 2010, he was the Acting Managing Director of NAMA during the commissioning of the Total Radar Coverage Of Nigeria ‘Tracon’ by Nigerian President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. He was praised by the President and his colleagues for finally attaining such success in the aviation industry. He is a member of Royal Aeronautical Society (MRAeS), National Association of Air Traffic Engineers, International Federation of Air Traffic Safety Electronic Association
(IFATSEA), United Kingdom registered engineer among the few from Nigeria, just to name a few.
He has held the position of general secretary at NAAE for eight years and later became the President for another four years. He is currently the Deputy Chairman Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO) Africa. He was the first male Nigerian Member of Women in Aviation International (WAI) featured on the first edition of Woman Aviator, the official publication of Women in Aviation, Nigeria.
His qualifications include: Member (Member): Royal Aeronautical Society [MRAeS].
Member (Member): National Association of Air Traffic Engineers.
Member (Member): International Federation of Air Traffic Safety Electronic Association [IFATSEA]
Member (Member): Nigerian Institute of Management [MNIM].
Registered Engineer (Registered Engineer):
Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN)
Tell us more about Gbar Gbolt?
For us, Gbar Gbolt is what we have called the lasting solution to oxidisation in building concretion. Generally, what we know is Iron Rod and that suffers oxidisation, that is why, after a few years, you see cracks on the building, you see something brown coming out in the building wall.
Secondly, on the marine areas, iron suffers chlorine effect that comes from water but Gbar is impervious to chlorine.
The design behind Gbar has over time been tested by both the Concrete Society of America, America Army Engineers and the Nigerian Engineers as well.
I know that this is a permanent for us to all the breakdown of buildings and bridges. What you carry in four trailers of the same lenght and size of the normal building rods, you will carry it with one trailer of Gbar product. And cost of production is cheaper. We are the last mile solution for all modern infrastructures, buildings, housing estates, bridges, highrise buildings, shopping malls, so that we can all smile.
We have noticed some structures, especially housing estates on this axis (Lekki Ajah) that always succumb to water and has caused a lot of buildings to crack and that leads to building collapse. What really is the cause of this?
It’s because people have not done the proper land recovery system. If you have not recovered and make water to be at its level, water will always find it’s level and that is why it suffers oxidisation and that affects and attracts the iron rods in the building; that eventually creates all manner of things on the building. Just a few a months of rain, Lekki became impossible for people to ply and live because the drainage system has collapsed. If the drainages collapses, water would be stagnant. Presently, we are scientifically putting Gbar Gbolt in the market. This is what we need today. Gbar is 100 year guarantee.
Are you saying iron attracts water?
No, iron is subject to Oxidisation and Gbar is impervious to chlorine.
Traces of water in the building, is it as a result of iron rust?
Let me say generally, it is caused by the poor building material management system because if you have a proper Civil Engineer, or proper design or proper building engineer, even though it may not last 100 years as the case maybe but it will not succumb to the environmental impact that this things give because everybody knows that when you are building your mud house inside water you don’t expect that house to survive two raining seasons.
It is the same way when you are building a concrete house, the block house. There is a certain material building system you require.
When you go to Marina, you will see those concrete they erect there, they are painting them and covering them. It’s because they are trying to protect them from oxidisation and it will still fail.
Tell us more about the difference between the conventional iron rod and Gbar Gbolt?
When the iron starts rotting, it will start looking yellow on the building, from there it will start cracking. But we can’t tell people not to use iron rod. Like before, we used to build houses with zink, we didn’t die. The conventional building iron rod suffers oxidisation but Gbar doesn’t.
Oxidisation means when oxygen tourches it, it loses it’s material strenght but this does not lose it’s material because it’s made of a products that is not of iron and it is cost effective, weight effective and logistically effective.
How did you discover this idea of Gbar Product?
It was developed by the scientists in the US particularly for their bridges, tunnels, drillings. Nobody can use iron rod now in America for drilling tunnels. Gbar is the answer to building collapse in Nigeria. It is stronger and lighter than iron rod.
Where can it be applied?
Anywhere that needs re-enforcement or concrete. It can be used for flooring, road, bridges, building construction, tunnel and it’s not conductive; it can be used for tamac station, power station, you can’t have electricity conductive where its applied.
Can we get to know more about you?
I am an air Traffic Engineer. So, all I have done in my life is to make sure aeroplanes fly safely. So, I am now trying to make sure we make safer buildings, safer roads, safer bridges. We look forward to 4th mainland bridge build with Gbar. Many years ago, nobody would buy KIA Car, today Hyundai and Kia is the way to go and Toyota is now struggling to survive.
What are your plans to fully come in to the Nigerian market?
First thing is to create awareness, marketing.
Where did you grow up?
I am a Lagosian. I grew up in Aba and Lagos. I went to school in Aba, Zaria, Lagos, London and Germany.