Nigerians lose hope of building a house as cement prices soar to N8,500 per bag amid forex woes, inflation

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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:

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  • 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:

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  • 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.
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