The House of Representatives Joint Committee has issued a 14-day ultimatum to Dangote Cement, BUA, IBETO, and other stakeholders to appear and discuss the escalating cement prices in the country.

This was done in response to the businesses’ and others’ non-attendance at its Tuesday, May 7, 2024 investigative hearing.

The joint committee, comprised of the House committees on solid minerals, commerce, industry, and special duties, was to “investigate the arbitrary increase in the price of cement in Nigeria by cement manufacturers.”

Dele Alake, the minister of solid minerals development, was also called by the House to come before the committee after he was unable to do so on Tuesday.

They ordered that the minister should appear Tuesday, May 21 while Dangote, BUA, IBETO and others are to appear on Monday, May 20, 2024.

Rep. Jonathan Gaza Gefwi, the chairman of the joint committee and the chairman of the committee on solid minerals, criticised the companies for turning down the invitation, claiming that this indicated their apathy towards the situation of Nigerians.
Earlier in the opening remarks, Representative Gefwi stated that, based on official currency rates for each nation, an analysis of cement prices in Kenya, India, and Zambia for the year 2021 alone revealed that Nigeria had the highest price of cement.

According to him, the cost of cement in Nigeria is 69% more than that in India; in a similar vein, it is 29% more expensive in Kenya and 39% more expensive in Zambia. Thus, it is imperative that we get together and investigate why. in order to protect investors and provide assistance to our countrymen.

“We want to see all lawful businesses, particularly those in Nigeria that produce cement, prosper and provide their goals and services to the populace in a way that can promote development.”

The head of the joint committee went on to stress the value of the public hearing and the need to dispel the myth that committees of parliament lacked the authority to invite private organizations, which was propagated by certain relevant firms.