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Politics

Block moulders kick over FG, cement producers’ agreed price

SAND crete block moulders have kicked against the agreed  N7,000 to N8,000 50 kilogramme bag of cement price by the Federal Government and  cement producers, describing it as “unacceptable.”

According to the president, Block Moulders of Nigeria, Prince Adesegun Banjoko, the agreed price slash was unacceptable due to some reasons.

Banjoko, who bemoaned the basis for such agreement, especially when BUA cement had earlier agreed to slash the price to N3,500, also queried the rationale behind high cement price when limestone is abundantly sourced in Nigeria.

He argued that if custom duties on the imported aspects are slashed or totally removed for now, the N3,500 price is achievable.

Banjoko, however, called on government to suspend the use of cement for the construction of roads until the general situation pertaining to pricing of cement becomes fairly stable.

He said: “Price of cement at N7,000 to N8,000, to me is very unacceptable for the following reasons: What was the basis of government agreement with BUA when he said cement will come down to N3,500? Limestone is abundantly sourced in Nigeria, though there are few other additives that are imported.

“If custom duties on the imported aspects are slashed or totally removed for now, the N3,500 price should be achievable. The tiger attitude of dollar to naira is currently being tamed from all sides by the government. We are encouraged to belief that it would continue till a fairly sustainable level is achieved, “Banjoko remarked.

Another, block mounder in Lagos, Olaf Ezekiel said N7,000 per bag of cement was still high, appealing for reduction.

Recall that cement manufacturers and the Federal Government agreed to N7,000 to N8,000  per 50kg bag of cement at the meeting held in Abuja, on Monday.

The communique was signed by the Special Adviser  (Media) to the Minister of Works, Orji Uchenna Orji.

While the Federal Government was represented by the Minister of Works, David Umahi and his counterpart in the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Doris Uzoka -Anite, cement manufacturers were represented by the president of Cement Producers Association, Prince David Aweta; spokespersons of Dangote Cement Plc and GMD/CEO, Mr Arvind Pathak; Lafarge Africa Plc and  Commercial Director, Mr. Gbenga Onimowo, and BUA Cement Plc and Group Executive Director, Mr. Kabiru Rabiu.

The communique read: “The cement manufacturers and the government noted that the current high price of cement is abnormal in some locations nationwide.  Ideally, cement retail prices should not cost more than N7,000.00 to N8,000.00/ 50kg bag of cement.  Therefore, the three cement manufacturers: Dangote Cement Plc, BUA Cement Plc and Larfarge Africa Plc have agreed that cement cost will not be more than between N7,000.00 and N8,000.00/50kg bag depending on the location.”

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