By Precious Olisa
This news may not be palatable to developers and Nigerians planning to start a building project, as the Cement Producers Association of Nigeria has warned that the price of a 50kg bag of cement may start selling for N9,000 when the dry season begins in November.
At the moment, the product is sold at over N5,000.
In a statement jointly signed on Sunday by the National Chairman of the group, Mr David Iweta, and its National Secretary, Mr Ufomba, the manufacturers said the rise in the price of cement would be caused by the decision of the federal government to introduce concrete roads across the country.
“Our findings from various parts of the country show that cement sells for as high as N6000 per bag in the rainy season.
“Our prediction is that it will sell for over N9,000 per bag in the dry season, especially with the pronouncement of the Minister of Works on cement technology and the marching order on housing by Mr President if the government does not take proactive steps,” a part of the disclosure stated.
“While we commend the Minister’s position on cement-made roads, we warn of the dire consequences if the supply end is not properly addressed.
“In fact, it would amount to dereliction of duty not to intervene. And the time is now. To do otherwise is to continue in a worsening pipe dream that prices would suddenly drop on this essential input that will continue to drain the purse of Nigerians, render them homeless, encourage chaos between demand and supply, and worsen the infrastructure deficit it sets out to cure, and lead to an unprecedented price hike.
“We also call on the Minister of Works to lay more emphasis on the design criteria of roads that allow both cement technology and Asphalt pavement to run concurrently, in turn, will provide ample time for a smooth transition that allows contractors to invest in commensurate and requisite equipment and retooling.
“We must also as a nation regulate static and dynamic load traffic by introducing weighbridges at access points on our highways. Working in sync with contractors, and allied Ministries of Trade and Investment, Transport, Environment and Finance on realistic policy on cement is most desirable at this critical time,” the association stated.
It urged the government to conclude the backward integration policy of the late Yar’adua administration that was already bringing availability and affordability of cement in the country.
“There has been so much comment on cement and cement pricing of late. What our nation needs is the cement that is available and affordable. And this cannot be achieved by mere wishes, faulty policies and programs, without breaking the chain of monopoly and favouritisms. Nigerians are tired of waiting for a downturn in the price of cement and for decent and affordable housing.
“We call on the Tinubu government to permanently solve this perennial cement price hike problem by expanding participation in the sector with companies who have verifiable evidence of local investment, including greenfield licenses and quarrying.
“As a matter of fact, we call on the government to more specifically conclude the backward integration policy of the late Yar’adua administration which was already bearing availability and affordability fruits,” the cement makers added.