The cost of Cement across the country has risen to a new high of N10,500 for a 50kg bag in a question one week.

Despite the recent price slash by BUA Cement of a 50kg bag of the product to N3,500, findings reveal that the price hike cuts across manufacturers.

Within a week, between February 11 and today, the price of a 50kg bag of cement has risen to about N10,500 in many parts of Lagos, Ogun and states across the country, following the biting effect of inflation.

The ever-rising price of cement has taken the end users of the product by surprise, as they did not bargain for the price change.

A building engineer, Engr. Amos Adegoke, said “With the current rising price of cement which is not even available, we will have to stop work on the project we are currently handling. We have wait and see what happens in the next few weeks, and if the price increase persists, we have no option than to play along the market trends, and of course, the market trends will certainly affect tenants entering the building.

The periodic increase in the product’s price has made retailers halt sales, fearing that manufacturers might increase prices soon, as many of them have closed shop against customers, saying there is no cement now, we are expecting cement.

On the reason for the rising price of the product, some dealers said manufacturers have increased their depot prices to a new high following the general hike in prices of things in the country.

A cement dealer in Magboro area of Obafemi-Owode Local Government Area of Ogun State said the country is witnessing the rise in the price of cement because producers increased their depot prices, coupled with the high cost of transportation.

Meanwhile, Real Estate Developers’ Association of Nigeria (REDAN), has called on President Bola Tinubu to intervene, saying the rising cost of cement would worsen the country’s economy.

In a statement recently, Aliyu Wamakko, REDAN’s president, called on Tinubu to invite cement manufacturers for an urgent discussion to prevent further hardship for Nigerians.

Wamakko said there is economic hardship in the country and the upward trajectory of cement prices would exacerbate the already difficult situation for Nigerians, particularly those working in the real estate sector.

“The price of ready-mix concrete will also be increased while the cost of in-situ production of concrete will rise significantly. Such an increment, if allowed to take place, will worsen the economic situation of the nation,” he said.

“When there is construction, there is multiple employment and it helps to reduce the poverty index of the country. But remember, because of no employment… the resultant effect is banditry, kidnapping, armed robbery.

“The federal government should also remember that we have 28 million housing deficit in Nigeria.
“Cement is an essential ingredient in the production of buildings. Frequency in the increase of its price has negatively impacted the nation’s housing sector. Experience has shown that high prices of cement tend to encourage a reduction in the quality of building production.”

On September 25, 2023, the Cement Producers Association of Nigeria warned that the government’s plan to introduce concrete roads could lead to an increase in the price of cement, from the current price of N5,000 to N9,000.

The price of cement has now reached N8,000 as at February 12, 2024.

Speaking on the consequences of the rising cost, Wamakko said the government should take a long-term approach to address the recurring issue of cement price hikes by facilitating increased participation in the cement industry. He said it is unacceptable for Nigerians to pay more than N3,500 per bag of cement.

The REDAN boss called on the president to investigate the reasons for the price increases and to take action to ensure that “the promised price of N3,500 by a cement manufacturer is achieved”.

According to Wamakko, any further increase in the price of cement would be a direct threat to the ‘Renewed Hope’ agenda housing programme of the federal government.

“Cement is a major component in building construction, serving as a binder substance, hardens and adheres to other materials to bind them together,” he said.

He said Abdulsamad Rabiu, the chairman of BUA Group, had last year, announced the intention of his brand to reduce the ex-factory price of its cement to N3,500 beginning from January 2024.
“But the price has remained unchanged,” Wamakko added.

Source: Vanguard