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Cement price: FG promises to fix roads,  reduce import duties

by Nike
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The Federal Government says it will give more attention to fixing roads and seek some remedies on cost of gas and import duties to bring down the astronomical price of cement nationwide.

This is part of the communiqué that was reached during a meeting between the government and the major cement manufacturers on Monday in Abuja.

Sen. David Umahi, Minister of Works and his counterpart, Minister of Trade and Investment, Mrs Doris Uzoka-Anite and the three major cement manufacturers – Dangote Plc, BUA Plc and Lafarge Plc signed the communiqué.

According to the document, government has taken note of the challenges enumerated by the manufacturers which include, cost of gas, high import duty on spare parts, bad road network, high foreign exchange and smuggling of cement to neighbouring nations.

Therefore, the meeting concluded that the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment would seek some remedies from President Bola Tinubu on the cost of gas and import duties.

The Federal Ministry of Works would give more attention to fixing of the roads, especially around the locations of the manufacturers.

On cement smuggling, the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment was to deepen the engagement with the National Security Adviser on how to stop the menace.

The meeting also agreed that the current high price of cement was abnormal in some locations nationwide.

“Ideally, cement retail prices should not cost more than ₦7,000.00 to ₦8,000.00/ 50kg bag of cement.

Therefore, the three cement manufacturers: Dangote Cement Plc, BUA Cement Plc and Larfarge Africa Plc have agreed that cement cost should not be more than between ₦7,000.00 and ₦8,000.00/50kg bag, depending on the location.

In addition, government advised cement manufacturers to set up a price monitoring mechanism to ensure compliance, and manufacturers have willingly accepted to do so and sanction any distributor or retailer found wanting.

Government expects the agreed price to drop after securing its interventions on the challenges of the manufacturers on gas, import duty, smuggling and better road network.

Furthermore, they agreed that at least six more players had to be introduced into the cement manufacturing sector to make the market more competitive and product more available.

The BUA representative, Mr Kabiru Rabiu, Group Executive Director, disclosed that BUA was preparing to release 6 million tonnes of cement within the next three weeks to make the product more available nationwide.

The stakeholders agreed to reconvene in 30 days to review progress made.

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