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Manufacturers give FG condition to reduce cement prices in Nigeria within 30 days

Manufacturers give FG condition to reduce cement prices in Nigeria within 30 days

By Oladipo Abiola

Cement manufacturers in Nigeria have made a recommendation to the federal government on how to bring down the rising cost of the product within thirty days.

Speaking through its national chairman, David Iweta, the Cement Producers’ Association of Nigeria (CEPAN) said on Sunday that they are ready to assist the federal government in crashing the price of cement within 30 days if they are invited on board as part of efforts to bring a solution.

CEPAN argued that the current hike in prices is a result of insufficient products, as the current demand for cement far outweighs the supply. He added that the hike in price is not a result of foreign exchange issues as been touted in some quarters.

Iweta, in a chat with Tribune, said even before the current scarcity/price hike, the association had foreseen the present development and had warned the federal government of the implications and the likely consequences of placing the cement needs of over 200 million people in the hands of a few selected persons.

“What we are seeing today is a case of demand clearly outweighing supply, and we in the association knew it would come to this because there is no way the few players in the industry can meet the cement needs of Nigerians.

“If you remember, the association had earlier warned, even when the commodity was still as low as N3,000 that in the nearest future, it would sell for as high as N9,000 if certain steps were not taken. Why we were saying that then was to ginger the government to take action and avert this mess that we are all in today,” he said.

As a way out, Iweta told the government of President Bola Tinubu to revisit the late President Umar Yar’Adua’s Backward Integration Policy, which licensed some other players in the industry to import cement but was scuttled by those he called cabals in the sector.

“In a bid to address the supply gap then, the late President Yar’Adua had given import licences to some manufacturers in the sector to import the commodity for a certain period of time before developing the financial muscles to be able to produce here. This was meant to bridge the noticeable supply gap in the sector then. But this was scuttled by the cabals in the sector then.

“The way out in the immediate for the Federal Government is to revisit that policy, otherwise the price will keep rising since it is obvious that these few players cannot cope with the demands of Nigerians,” he added.

The CEPAN President lamented that previous efforts by the association at getting an audience with the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment and the Presidency to make its position known on the issue in the past had been rebuffed.

“But the fact remains that we are still very much open and ready to help government in addressing the situation and crash this exorbitant price in 30 days,” he submitted.

-NaijaNews

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Posted by on Feb 20 2024. Filed under Headlines. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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