April 18, 2024

Federal Government, Cement Manufacturers Reach Accord, Set Cement Prices at N7,000 to N8,000 per 50kg Bag

 

By: Emmanuel Ibitoye

In an effort to curb the soaring prices of cement, the Federal Government and cement manufacturers have reached an agreement to peg the cost of a 50kg bag between N7,000 and N8,000. The consensus emerged following extensive closed-door discussions held at the Ministry of Works headquarters in Abuja on Monday.

The tentative pricing model is contingent on the government fulfilling promised interventions aimed at addressing critical challenges within the industry. Cement retail prices had witnessed a rapid surge from N5,000 to N10,000 within a week, prompting urgent government intervention.

During the closed-door meeting, concerns raised by manufacturers included issues such as bad roads, smuggling, high energy costs, and the foreign exchange crisis, all contributing to the recent price hikes. The manufacturers expressed their commitment to lowering prices, provided the government addresses these challenges.

Representatives from major cement manufacturers, including Dangote Cement PLC, BUA Cement PLC, Larfarge Africa PLC, and the Cement Producers Association, were present at the meeting. The Federal Government was represented by the Minister of Works and the Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment.

Addressing the media after the meeting, Minister of Works David Umahi highlighted the challenges faced by manufacturers and outlined the government’s responses. These included seeking remedies from the President on the cost of gas and import duties, prioritizing road repairs around manufacturing locations, and intensifying efforts to curb smuggling.

The government expects cement retail prices to normalize to the agreed-upon range after interventions on challenges such as gas costs, import duties, smuggling, and infrastructure improvement. Both parties have committed to establishing a price monitoring mechanism to ensure compliance, with plans to reconvene in 30 days to review progress.

This collaborative effort aims to strike a balance between the interests of cement manufacturers, consumers, and broader economic considerations, reflecting a collective commitment to stabilizing the cement market in Nigeria.

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