FG’s plan to introduce concrete roads — Manufacturers
Cement manufacturers believe the rising price of the commodity won’t come down if the government fails to address the chains of monopoly in the sector.
The Cement Producers Association of Nigeria has warned that the price of cement will increase from ₦5000 to ₦9000 due to the Federal Government’s plan to introduce concrete roads.
In a statement jointly signed by its National Chairman, Prince David Iweta and National Secretary Chief Reagan Ufomba, the association on Sunday, September 24, 2023, hailed the Minister of Works, David Umahi for his position on constructing roads with cement.
However, the association warned that there would be dire consequences if the supply end is not addressed properly, arguing that failure to do so would worsen Nigerians’ hope that the price of cement would come down.
Proffering solutions, cement producers urged the government to emphasise road designs that allow both cement technology and asphalt pavement to run concurrently.
The statement read in part, “Our findings from various parts of the country show that cement sells for as high as N6000 per bag in the rainy season. Our prediction is that it will sell for over N9,000 per bag in the dry season, especially with the pronouncement of the Honourable Minister of Works on cement technology and the marching order on housing by Mr President if the government does not take proactive steps.
“While we commend the Honourable Minister’s position on cement-made roads, we warn of the dire consequences if the supply end is not properly addressed. In fact, it would amount to dereliction of duty not to intervene. And the time is now. To do otherwise is to continue in a worsening pipe dream that prices would suddenly drop on this essential input that will continue to drain the purse of Nigerians, render them homeless, encourage chaos between demand and supply, and worsen the infrastructure deficit it sets out to cure, and lead to an unprecedented price hike.
“We also call on the Honourable Minister of Works to lay more emphasis on the design criteria of roads that allow both cement technology and Asphalt pavement to run concurrently, in turn, will provide ample time for a smooth transition that allows contractors to invest in commensurate and requisite equipment and retooling. We must also as a nation regulate static and dynamic load traffic by introducing weighbridges at access points on our highways.”
The association also requested the government to conclude the backward integration policy of the late Yar’adua administration.
It explained that cement availability and affordability cannot be achieved if the government fails to break “the chain of monopoly and favouritisms.”
It, therefore, called on President Bola Tinubu’s government to permanently solve this perennial cement price hike problem by expanding participation in the sector with companies who have verifiable evidence of local investment, including greenfield licenses and quarrying.