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Reps summon Dangote, BUA, Lafarge, others over arbitrary cement price hike

The House of Representatives on Wednesday summoned cement manufacturers in the country to appear before it to explain the rationale behind arbitrary increases in the cost of cement in the country.

Daily Trust reports that Dangote Cement Plc, BUA Cement Plc and Lafarge are among the major cement producers in the country.

This is because the House also mandated its committees on Solid Minerals Development, Commerce, Industry and Special Duties to investigate the arbitrary increase in the price of cement by manufacturers in the country and report back within four weeks.

The resolutions followed the adoption of a motion sponsored by Reps Gaza Jonathan Gbefwi and Ademorin Kuye.

Daily Trust reports that there had been outcry over the skyrocketing cost of cement which hovers between N10,000 and N15,000 per bag, up from the previous cost of about N5,000 per bag.

Gbefwi, while moving his motion, lamented that manufacturers of cement have increased the price of their products by up to 50%, leading to sharp hikes in building blocks, the cost of building, and consequently, the price of rent in the country.

He observed that the raw materials for the manufacturing of cement, which include lime, silica, alumina, iron oxide, and gypsum, are all sourced locally and not affected by exchange rate volatility.

The lawmaker said all the factors of production and elements of the cement production flow chart are also sourced locally and have not changed significantly year-on-year, and wondered about the rationale for the arbitrary increase in the cost of cement.

He expressed concern that the manufacturers of cement are capitalising on the exchange rate volatility to arbitrarily increase the price of the product, whose cost of production has not changed significantly since last year.

Gbefwi said, “The cement cabal is unconscionably inflicting hardship on Nigerians as the prices of rent and associated services have increased.”

He said the increase in the price of cement is a “direct affront and sabotage of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration’s effort to bring comfort to the populace and should be resolved immediately.”

 

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