The Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute (NIBRRI), Friday said its second pilot prototype Pozzolana Plant located in Bokkos, Plateau State will produce 500,00tons of cement yearly if fully utilized.

Acting Director General of the Institute, Mr. Samson Duda said at the launch of the Plant that government aims to replace ordinary Portland cement with pozzolana - a building material produced from volcanic ash, which he said is more environmentally friendly.

Ordinary Portland Cement emits 7% of global carbon dioxide, the Nigerian Science and Technology Minister, Mr. Ogbonnaya Onu said at the event.

"It is common knowledge that carbon dioxide is harmful to human health, just as it is to wildlife and fauna.

"It causes many respiratory problems like asthma, bronchitis and nasal infections," said the Minister.

In addition, OPC according to Mr. Onu could result in structural cracks in buildings leading to possible collapse, he said.

It is also found to be costly and 40% weightier than pozzolana which informs efforts by different African countries to reduce its use, he said.

The Bokkos Pozzolana Plant therefore in the words of the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Science and Technology, Mr. Bitrus Nabasu will reduce the cost of building in Nigeria.

The concept of the Plant which is attached to a skills acquisition centre was designed in 2011, immediate past DG of NIBRII, Mr. Slim Matawal said.

The first pozzolana plant was set up in 2017 in Otta, Southeast Nigeria.

The skills acquisition section he said is equipped to train citizens in welding, capentey, tailoring, and cosmetology among others.

NIBRRI has in its 40 years of existence developed several technologies that are "making a difference" in rural communities, its Board Chairman, Mr. William Wadni said.

It has in his words, produced rural access road technology, fabricated machines, and developed alternative construction materials among others.

The Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong through his Science and Technology Commissiiner, Dan Manjang, the representative of the Plateau State Traditional Council, Mr. Isaac Wakili and the Chairman, Bokkos Local Government Council, Yusuf Machen were all excited at the choice of Plateau for the Plant.