Business Ideas

How to Start A Block Industry In Nigeria

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Block Industry In Nigeria – Updated December 27,2020

Block making (commonly called block industry) is a very profitable venture.  It is funny to me that some people still think that block making is a vocation for the uneducated and unskilled people.  Far from it!  Whether you are a school dropout, a university graduate, a professional or a retiree looking for profitable business to engage in; block making is a venture to consider.

And the best part is that it is scalable. 

Meaning you can start with small capital and grow it to become a big venture. You can also start big if you have the financial capacity and still grow it to become bigger. 

Why is block industry growing rapidly?

The simple reason is rising population and increasing housing needs.

Nigeria’s  population is about 206 million people and growing at 4% yearly.  The country is rapidly urbanizing with almost half of the inhabitants already living in cities.  And according to some studies, by 2050, seventy-five percent of the population will be urban based.

Any wonder there is pressure on shelter.   The National Bureau of Statistics puts housing deficit at over 17 million units and will need an investment of NGN60 trillion to cover this wide gap.

The need for housing is pervasive; including shelter (residential accommodation), recreation, offices, places of worship, markets, schools, shopping malls, hotels, parks, amongst others.  An essential component used in the construction of these properties is cement concrete block.   For this reason blocks are always in demand. 

It therefore provides a good opportunity for investment. If you have ever thought of taking advantage of the ever expanding real estate sector, consider investing in block industry.

What is Involved

Block industry is about setting up a facility to mould blocks of various sizes in large quantities.  And then, selling to people who are building houses or contractors handling construction projects of different forms. 

Cement blocks can either be solid or hollow.  However, hollow blocks are most popular and commonly used for housing construction in Nigeria. 

A roadside block moulding business in Lagos, Nigeria

The block making plant considered here is one that produces hollow concrete blocks of 9 and 6 inches. The major raw materials required are sand, cement and water.  Cement is the binder.  It is also the most expensive raw material required for block making.

Bigger factories may produce all types of blocks including hollow blocks, solid bricks, interlocking, curbstones, slabs, retaining walls, etc.  The production of these require the use of a multifunctional block making machine.

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Block Industry Set Up

Block making can be labour intensive.  Or capital intensive. Thus, it is your level of investment that determines your scale of operation.  A labour intensive set up, what you need is a manual mould.  And a large part of the production process, from mixing to moulding will be handled by human labour. 

A manual set up can be enhanced by the adoption of a manually operated machine.   Many of the block industries you see around are set up this way.  

The process can also be semi-automated.  In this case, part of the production process is manually carried out and other parts handled by machine.  In a semi-automated process, the moulds are fed into the machine and the blocks are vibrated mechanically.  The output of a semi-automated process is far higher than that of manual process. 

There is also a fully automated process which requires investment in automated concrete block making equipment.  In this model, the process of block making is completely automated.  Once the sand, cement and water is fed into the machine in the right ratio, the machine takes the materials through the process of mixing and moulding automatically.

However setting up a complete automated line of block making plant with sophisticated equipment in a large expanse of land will require much more investment. On this scale, it is a very capital intensive venture.

How Much Do You Need to Start?

My goal in this blog is to help visitors/readers identify interesting and lucrative small scale business and investment opportunities.  Businesses they can start with small amount of money.  Block industry is one of such ventures. 

With an investment of N800,000 or even less, you can set up a manual block industry, using a manually operated machine.  This is  assuming you already have a vacant land. On this scale you will be producing between 200 to 500 blocks per day depending on your strength or number of labour you employ.

Such a small scale block industry  can be making as much as N10,000 in daily profit if you are able to develop a ready market.  This will translate to N60,000 per week for a six day working week and N240,000 per month net of all expenses. 

Isn’t that cool?

What You Will Need to Establish Your Block Industry
#1. Land

This is the number one thing you will need to establish a block industry.  A piece of land measuring 600 sq.m will be enough for a beginner.  You can either buy the land outright if you can afford to,  or rent it or even partner with land owners.  However, in acquiring your land, you must give consideration to the topography.  Don’t site your block making business in a water logged area or swampy environment. 

This will affect your business because your block will continually be moist, or can be carried away by erosion.  Most importantly delivery will be affected because vehicles may find it difficult accessing your site to pick your blocks.  For this reason, ensure that your plant is located on a dry land.

#2. Moulding Machine

After land, the block moulding machine, is the most important piece of equipment you will have to acquire to set up your block industry. There are locally fabricated machines that are manually operated.  There are also automatic moulding machines and multifunctional machines that can be imported from China, India, Germany, etc.  The type of machine you install depends on the scale you want to operate..

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#3. Standard Source of Power

You will need regular power supply to keep your vibrating moulding machine running.  A diesel generator is highly desirable.  Most operators use Lister engine.  We hope there will be a time in Nigeria where entrepreneurs will no longer need to provide their own source of power.

#4. Construct a Shed

You will have to construct a shed to house your block moulder and your Lister Engine.  This will protect these equipment from rain.  The shed is a simple structure with four beams and without block walls but covered with a roof. If you have the resources, you can carve out an area with block walls within the shed to serve as your office, changing room for staff and a store to keep your raw materials, particularly cement.

#5. Source of Water

Water is a very crucial material in the production of concrete blocks and you will be needing it in very large quantity and regularly too.  Water is needed to mix the cement and sand as well as to sprinkle on the moulded blocks to enhance its hardness.  The best strategy is to dig a well in your site for regular water supply.  If you have the resources then sink a borehole but a dug well will serve the purpose adequately.

#6. Overhead Water Tank

An overhead water tank is needed to collect water from the source for ease of use.

#7. Pumping Machine

This pumps water from the Well or bore hole to the overhead water tank, ready for use.

#8. Delivery Van

An open pick-up vehicle is adequate to serve as your delivery van.  You will need this van to enable you deliver products to your customers at their sites.  A serviceable fairly used vehicle can serve this purpose and as you scale up your operations, you can acquire a suitable truck.

#9. Wooden Pallets

Get a carpenter to construct wooden pallets, as many as possible, depending on the capacity of your plant.  The pallets are used to carry the moulded blocks to the drying/curing place.

Other Equipment

You may also need a mixer.  Other equipment you will certainly buy include: head pans,  shovels, wheel barrow, head pans and water hose.  The quantity you will buy will depend on the scale of your production and the number of hands working on your facility.  These items are easily available at any hardware store or building material market around.

Success Factors

A key success factor in this business is to locate your industry in a rapidly developing area with a lot construction works going on.  This will not only ensure regular demand for your products but also make delivery easy because most of the people that will be buying from you are those building around your location. 

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It is also essential to locate your block making factory on a dry land to avoid flood destroying your blocks and other raw materials, such as cement and sand. So it is important that before you set up your factory, you do a detail study of the environment to ascertain both the commercial and technical viability of your project.

Your success will largely depend on your organization skills, your capacity to reach out to bricklayers, building contractors and other people in charge of building projects.  Reach it to these people and get them to patronize you with whatever incentive you can offer.

You will also have to make arrangement for regular supply of the materials you will need, especially cement and sand.  There is nothing as bad as not being able to meet order because you are not able to source materials.  You should develop good relationship with cement and sand suppliers so such that you can get these items on a single phone call whether or not you have the money to pay immediately.

Manpower Needs

You will use mostly daily paid labour.   But will also need to hire experience workers to operate the moulding machine as well as the sand and cement mixer.  For these processes, you will need people who have some experience to know the right mix of material to produce the quality of blocks required.

Depending on your scale, you will need an admin and account staff to help organize things around and liaise externally on corporate matters as well as keep the books.  A marketing person may be required to manage relationship and develop business.  These functions can be handled by you the entrepreneur if you have the necessary skills and operating on bootstrap.

Very important is the need to have a security guard to man the entire facility.  This is important because your block making facility is usually open space and you will be needing somebody to ensure that your unsold blocks and unused materials are safe and secured and that your equipment is not vandalized.

Final Words

Every business start up needs to be carefully planned to ensure enduring success.  If you are interested in starting a block  industry and require assistance feel free to contact us at kobotalk.   We can help develop a block industry business plan, source and procure good block moulding machine and help out with business registration.

These are some of the services we render at a cost very friendly to your economy.

To your success as always!

 

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Buchi provides small business owners with strategic, financial, and digital support to help them build strong, successful and profitable enterprises.

He is a Blogger at night and by day, Team Lead at Stalwart Investment Partners Ltd, a research, business and investment advisory firm.

Buchi provides small business owners with strategic, financial, and digital support to help them build strong, successful and profitable enterprises. He is a Blogger at night and by day, Team Lead at Stalwart Investment Partners Ltd, a research, business and investment advisory firm.

24 Comments

        • Buchi

          Yes, we can prepare a business plan you can use to source funds from investors or get loans from banks and development finance institutions. Call or whatsapp me 08122292208 for terms.

  • mojisola samuel

    i found this very interesting and educative actually am into real Estate but because the salary earning is not enough to take care of my needs am looking forward to invest in block industry
    i want to ask if this business is good for lady
    i will also like to have the idea of the price of Automatic machine for mouding the block

    • Buchi

      Of course, ladies can do block making business. Employ some unskilled labour to do the hard part while you concentrate on strategy, administration and business development. Prices of machines do vary depending on the brand and whether you are going for new or refurbished. But generally an investment of NGN700,000 can get you a good machine you can use to start your business on a small scale.

      Do your viability analysis and plan carefully. Good luck

  • Omotoso

    Dear sir,
    I write to appreciate the of your ideas on block making industry. It is so impressing and inspiring. I am a graduate of English Language. I have long desired to venture into the business but am still trusting God for capital to start. I will greatly appreciate if you could help me with the business plan to access funds/ loan.
    Thanks for impacting life.
    I await your response sir.

  • Omotoso Calos

    Dear Sir
    I write to appreciate the soundness of your ideas on block making machine. Am deeply impressed and inspired. Am a graduate of English language but I have long desired to venture into the business but capital incapacitated me. Neither did it occurred y me that I can access loan with good business plan until I read your blog comments. Thus, I will greatly appreciate if you could help me with a business plan to access loan to start off.
    Thanks for impacting lives with this idea .
    I will await your prompt response sir.
    Thank you sir.

    • Buchi

      Very glad you find the content helpful. Thank you for your kind words.

      Yes, we can help develop an investor and bank grade business plan. This you could use to approach investors to invest in your idea or apply for Intervention Funds or loans from BOI, DBN, etc.

      However, our business plan writing is a paid service. If you are seriously considering this service, call or WhatsApp me. 08122292208

  • Gabriel Olusesi

    This is quite an educative and practical process and procedures involved in starting a block making business.
    My question. Can you prepared a business plan for me on block making business,as a guide.? I have over N1m to invest.

    • Buchi

      Glad you find this content helpful. Yes, preparation of business plans is one of the services I offer. Call me – 08122292208

    • Buchi

      The scale of your operation will determine how much you will need to invest.

      But let’s assume the least of scales. Let’s also assume you already have a space (land), then N500, 000 will get you started.

      With that level of investment, your operation will be semi-manual.

      You can start with locally fabricated equipment and a refurbished lister engine. This scale will also mean you will not have a delivery vehicle.

      The best practice however is to conduct a market study and prepare a business plan. That way you are able to consider all aspects of your business and get a more accurate estimate of how much you need to invest.

    • Buchi

      #300,000 may not be enough to start with, especially if you do not have a land/space already. To start on a tight budget, you should be looking at a minimum of #600,000 minus the cost of land and that is assuming you will start with used locally fabricated machine. You may also have to work out credit arrangement with suppliers of sand and cement to ease your cashflow.

  • Ezeigbo Cajetan

    I am Ezeigbo Cajetan by name,a graduate of Civil Engineering from Imo state.

    As an unemployed graduate engineer,I have come up with an idea of going into block moulding industry despite that I don’t have the capital but it is one of the dream businesses I would like to venture into.

    I don’t have a proposal on this and I wish you can help with me with one which I may use to access loan or grant to start up this business

    I wait as well wish to know the current prices of block moulding vibrating machines.
    Thank for your understand

    • Buchi

      Cajetan,

      Your plan to start a block making business is a sound one.

      Yes, I can help you with a business plan or proposal to enable you access loans from institutions like BOI or DBN and such other institutions.

      Why not send me an email to let me have a good understanding of what you need and how you want me to help. My email address is [email protected].

      Hope to read from you soon.

  • Jimmy

    Dear Sir
    I see your company’s website is engaged in the construction industry. We are a supplier of the Block Machine.
    We have specialized in block machine more than 35years.
    The scope of us:

    1) Small block machine (i.e LMT4-40, QMJ4-30, QMJ4-45 …etc)
    2) Small block machine production line (i.e LMT4-35, QTJ4-26, QT3-20 )
    3) Fully automatic production line (i.e QT4, QT6, QT8, QT10, QT12)
    4) Clay interlocking block machine (M7MI, M7A2…ect)
    5) Egg laying block machine (QMY6.QMY8.QMY10)
    6) Automatic fly ash brick making machine

    You can reply to my email address to get product catalog

    Email:[email protected]
    Block Making Machine Products: https://www.block-machine.net/products/

    Any interesting, please let me know, the technical solution will provide for you soon

    Best regards

    Jimmy
    Sales Manager

    *If you are not interested. Please delete it *

    • kobotalk

      Thank you Jimmy for visiting our site. We are not in the business of block making. We provide information on business and entrepreneurship through this blog and also consult in this area. We are certain that some readers of this blog may be interested in your services and will contact you if they found you are a genuine supplier of the equipment you mentioned.

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