Algerian Public Works Minister, Amar Ghoul, has ordered an end to using imported building materials in public projects throughout the country.

In a meeting with Algeria’s provincial directors of public works on 7 July, the minister ordered the officials to ensure that contractors in charge of all civil projects buy only from local sources.

Ghoul specified prefabricated beams, concrete slabs and metal bridges when he gave the instruction.

“The Algerian Company for Bridges and Engineering Structures (SAPTA) has a plant specialised in this equipment in Algiers that can cover all the demands expressed by the firms in charge of road projects nationwide,” said Ghoul.

When pressed about the quality of local building materials, Ghoul insisted all Algerian products comply with international standards.

In January this year, Algiers announced a plan to import 5.1 million tonnes of cement from regional manufacturers. As of 1 July, the material had yet to arrive.

Local media in Algeria have speculated that the delay represents a refusal of delivery brought on by Algiers’ consistently late payments.