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Cement Price

High Cost Of Cement, Others Unacceptable, Says Minister



Federal government has said cement manufacturers are not doing enough to stem the rising cost of cement in the country.

The government said it would not accept a situation where the price of essential building materials like cement continues to rise uncontrollably.

A press statement signed by the special adviser on  media to the minister of housing and urban development, Mark Chieshe, revealed that his principal,  Ahmed Musa Dangiwa, relayed the message when he summoned cement manufacturers to a meeting at the ministry’s headquarters in Abuja, yesterday.

Dangiwa expressed displeasure over the steady, recurring and alarming increase in the prices of cement and other building materials, and accused the manufacturers of hiding behind unstable FOREX to inflict hardship on Nigerians. He described the situation as unacceptable and inimical to the growth of the country, saying that the government cannot accept such illicit price hikes.


He said the incessant hike has overtaken the country in the past few months, which has seen the price rise by over 100 percent, from N5,500 a few months ago to over N10,000 today.

“This represents a 100 percent rise. And it is not only cement; we have also seen near-record high escalations in the prices of other building materials such as iron rods and other fittings. I recall that late last year, BUA Cement announced a commendable reduction in the price of cement from N5,500 to N3,500 per bag. I applauded the gesture, and several other stakeholders did too. But today, the reality is that of escalating cement prices. Clearly, this is a crisis for housing delivery.

“An increase in essential building materials means an increase in the prices of houses. An increase in the cost of building houses means more and more Nigerians can no longer afford to own houses and provide decent shelter for themselves and their loved ones.

“We know that some of the key components of producing building materials, especially cement, are locally sourced, so the recurring disproportionate increase in the price of cement is unacceptable and unreasonable. Key input materials such as limestone, clay, silica sand, and gypsum within our borders should not be dollar-rated. You cannot continue to give excuses and blame it on dollars all the time. The worst part is, other building materials’ manufacturers take a cue from cement manufacturers, and once they see that you increase your price, they do the same as well. Recently, this is happening almost every week, and it has to stop”, he said.

He said rather than make Nigerians bear the brunt in their quest to make profit in the face of slight macroeconomic headwinds, cement manufacturers should be innovative and come up with a roadmap as part of the committee that has been set up to tackle the challenges for the benefit of Nigerians.


While arguing further that the situation poses a threat to housing delivery which is the main focus of the ministry, the minister explained that if they were planning to build a one-bedroom apartment for about N8 million under the present situation, it will now cost twice that much, about N16 million to build and lamented that if a Nigerian could afford to own a home of N8 million, it will now be impossible to do so.

Earlier in his address, minister of state for housing and urban development, Abdullahi Tijjani Gwarzo, also called on the manufacturers to make some sacrifice in their operations, understanding that they have a corporate social responsibility to stand by Nigeria in difficult times.

“This is not the time to focus too much on profit, but on our collective responsibility to the people of Nigeria. Cement manufacturers must realize that, as a government, we have options, but we would not want it to get to the point where we have to use those options because it may not be good for local producers. That is not to say we do not have options. The Federal Government placed a ban on cement importation in a bid to empower you to flourish, but that cannot happen at the detriment of Nigerians”, he said.

In the meeting were the group chief commercial officer for Dangote Industries Limited, Rabiu Umar; commercial director for Lafarge Cement PLC, Gbenga Onimowo; and secretary of the Cement Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (CMAN), James Salako, and other top officials of cement companies.



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