Government Warns Cement Manufacturers Amid Price Hike

In response to the recent surge in the price of cement across the country, the Federal Government has issued a stern warning to cement manufacturers, cautioning that it may resort to opening the border for cement importation if prices continue to rise indiscriminately.

The warning was delivered by the Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Arc Ahmed Dangiwa, during an emergency meeting held with cement and building materials manufacturers in Abuja on Tuesday.

The meeting was convened in light of the significant increase in the price of cement over the past few days.

Manufacturers had justified the price hike, attributing it to various factors including bad road conditions, the increasing cost of gas, and the declining value of the naira in relation to the dollar.

However, Dangiwa dismissed these arguments, emphasizing that raw materials for cement production are locally sourced and should not be dollar-rated.

Furthermore, the minister criticized the Cement Manufacturers of Nigeria for failing to regulate the price of their product in the country.

He challenged manufacturers to be more patriotic and urged them to address the challenges within the industry without resorting to price hikes.

In response to the government’s stance, the ministry announced plans to establish a committee comprising representatives from each cement manufacturer, the industry association, and the government.

The committee’s objective will be to devise strategies for resolving the issue of high cement prices in the country.

Meanwhile, Rabiu Umar, the Group Chief Commercial Officer of Dangote Cement, cited the high cost of gas and mining equipment as contributing factors to the price hike.

He highlighted the reliance on gas for cement production and the challenges associated with the devaluation of the naira, which has led to increased demand for cement exports.

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