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Housing Minister accuses cement manufacturers of exploiting Forex volatility for price hikes 

Arc. Musa Dangiwa, the Minister of Housing and Urban Development, has raised concerns about cement manufacturers using the fluctuating foreign exchange rates as a pretext to significantly increase cement prices, thereby adding to Nigeria’s economic challenges.  

This issue was brought to light during a meeting Dangiwa convened with key figures from the cement industry, including Dangote Industries Limited’s Group Chief Commercial Officer Rabiu Umar, Lafarge Cement PLC’s Commercial Director Gbenga Onimowo, and the Cement Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (CMAN)’s Secretary James Salako, along with other senior executives from the industry.  

The meeting took place at the Ministry’s headquarters in Abuja on Tuesday, as mentioned in a press release on the ministry’s website.  

The minister criticized the cement manufacturers for their inadequate efforts to control the soaring prices of cement, highlighting an unacceptable price surge from N5,500 to over N10,000 in recent months, marking an increase of more than 100%. 

Dangiwa also emphasized that instead of passing the burden onto Nigerians in their pursuit of profits amidst minor macroeconomic challenges, cement manufacturers should engage in innovation and develop a strategy as members of the established committee. 

Dangiwa added that the increase in the price of cement jeopardizes efforts in housing delivery, which is a principal focus of the Ministry and a major priority for the Bola Ahmed Tinubu administration.  

He further stated that the Ministry is deeply concerned by the present situation, particularly in light of the initiatives it has launched aimed at delivering affordable and social housing to those with low and medium incomes, as well as to the vulnerable segments of the population. 

The minister also instructed the Permanent Secretary, Dr. Marcus Ogunbiyi, to expedite the committee’s work and develop recommendations addressing the concerns raised by the manufacturers, for submission to the Federal Executive Council. 

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