Cement prices rise by 100% in three years

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The price of cement has risen by 100 per cent in three years to a record high of N7,000, on the back spiralling inflation in the country.

Findings revealed that the prices of cement ranged between N3,300 and N3,500 in Lagos and Ogun States in March 2021 but have jumped to between N6,500 and N7,000 in both states as of last week.

Dangote Cement’s Group Executive Director in charge of Strategy, Portfolio Development, and Capital Projects, Devakumar Edwin, had in 2021 attributed the high cost of cement in Nigeria to the global rise in demand for cement as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.

“Nigeria is no exception as a combination of monetary policy changes and low returns from the capital market has resulted in a significant increase in construction activity. To ensure that we meet local demands, we had to suspend exports from our recently inaugurated export terminals, thereby foregoing dollar earnings,” he said.

In 2022, the Block and Concrete Producers Association, Enugu State chapter, decried the continuous increase in the prices of cement and other materials used for block production.

The President of Oriental Block and Concrete Producers Association, Enugu State, Igwe Ukaegbu, had lamented that the continuous rise in cement price was negatively affecting the production output of and income of members of the association, urging the Federal Government to intervene in the situation by granting more licenses to industrialists to produce cement.

He said, “The challenge we have is the cost of cement and even sand. Everything is now costly. We are not making sales as we used to; so, we are suffering. We are praying for the government to help us by bringing down the price of cement and other materials.

“Before, one could sell 3,000 to 5,000 pieces of block in a month; but now, before you sell 1,000 pieces of block, it is very difficult. The cost of cement in Enugu now is N4,550 per bag. Some people are selling for N5,000.”

In 2023, the Cement Producers Association of Nigeria warned that the ongoing plan of the Federal Government to introduce concrete roads will raise the price of cement to N9,000 per bag from the current price of N5,000.

They also called on the current administration, in a statement, to permanently address the perennial cement price hike problem by facilitating larger participation in the cement industry, noting that Nigerians had no business buying cement for more than N5,600 per bag.

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.