Cement Producers Warn of Price Surge as Government Plans Concrete Roads.
Nigeria – The Cement Producers Association of Nigeria has issued a stark warning that the federal government’s plans to introduce concrete roads could lead to a significant increase in the price of cement, raising it from the current rate of N5,000 per bag to as high as N9,000 per bag.
In a joint statement signed by the National Chairman, Prince David Iweta, and National Secretary, Chief Reagan Ufomba, the association called on the government to tackle the recurrent issue of rising cement prices by encouraging broader participation in the cement industry. They emphasized that Nigerians should not have to pay more than N5,600 per bag for cement.
While commending the Minister of Works’ support for cement-made roads, the association cautioned that neglecting the supply side of the cement market could have dire consequences. They urged the government to focus on road designs that allow for both cement technology and asphalt pavement simultaneously. This approach would offer contractors the necessary time and resources for a smooth transition, including investments in appropriate equipment and retooling.
The statement issued by the association stated, “Our findings from various parts of the country show that cement sells for as high as N6,000 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 Honourable Minister of Works on cement technology and the marching order on housing by Mr. President if the government does not take proactive steps.
The association called for the introduction of weighbridges at access points on highways to regulate static and dynamic load traffic. They also urged collaboration with relevant government ministries on crafting realistic policies regarding cement pricing.
The association further requested the government to conclude the backward integration policy initiated during the late Yar’adua administration. This policy aimed to enhance the availability and affordability of cement in Nigeria.
In conclusion, the statement called for comprehensive policy harmonization between fiscal and monetary policies, intervention in the foreign exchange market, restructuring of bad loans for manufacturers, and a review of palliative modules. The association stressed the importance of decisive government action to revive manufacturing concerns and reduce the dependency on foreign direct investment.
The warning from the Cement Producers Association serves as a reminder of the challenges and complexities involved in introducing new infrastructure projects and technologies in Nigeria, with a focus on the potential impacts on key industries like cement production.