Cement Crisis Grips Nigeria as Prices Soar to N8,500 per Bag
Nigerians are reeling from a sharp rise in the price of cement, with a bag now costing a staggering N8,500 in some parts of the country. This represents a significant increase from N5,800 in December 2023, raising concerns about the impact on construction, housing affordability, and the overall economy.
Key Players and Price Hikes:
- The Cement Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (CMAN) has raised prices by over N1,000 per bag for various brands.
- Major producers like Dangote Cement, Lafarge Africa Plc, and BUA Group dominate the market.
- Retailers in Lagos and the Southwest charge N8,200 or higher, while prices reach N8,500 or more in the Southeast and Abuja.
Domino Effect on Construction:
- Concrete block prices have risen in response, with a six-inch block now costing N500 and a nine-inch block N600.
- Ready-mix concrete and in-situ concrete production costs are expected to increase substantially.
- This surge is projected to lead to higher new home prices, elevated rental rates, and increased maintenance costs.
Consumers and Stakeholders Cry Out:
- Despite BUA Group’s attempt to lower prices last year, many retailers inflate prices due to supply chain costs.
- Builders and block manufacturers express concern about the impact on production and income.
- The Nigerian Institute of Building calls on the government to intervene and reduce cement prices, citing foreign exchange challenges faced by producers.
Editor’s Note: Possible Solutions:
- Issuing additional licenses to industrialists for cement production, as suggested by the Akerele Block Manufacturers Association.
- Promoting wider involvement in the cement industry, as advocated by the Cement Producers Association of Nigeria.
- Addressing foreign exchange issues to ease pressure on producers.