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FG, manufacturers peg cement price 7-8k

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By Abraham Adekunle

Price stabilization measures amid economic concerns in the country.

In a bid to address the escalating prices of cement, the Federal Government of Nigeria, alongside major cement manufacturers, has reached a consensus to peg the price of 50kg bags of cement within the range of ₦7,000 to ₦8,000. This development comes amidst growing concerns about the impact of soaring cement prices on the country’s economy, particularly in the real estate sector, as highlighted by the Real Estate Developer’s Association of Nigeria (REDAN). The decision to stabilize cement prices was disclosed by David Umahi, the Minister of Works and Housing, following a protracted meeting with key cement manufacturers in Abuja.

The meeting, convened on February 17, 2024, was prompted by the alarming surge in cement prices, which had seen the cost per bag fluctuating between ₦8,000 and ₦10,000, a significant escalation from the previous price range of around ₦4,000 per bag just a few weeks ago. Notable cement producers such as Dangote, BUA, and Lafarge were summoned by the Ministry of Works to address the price volatility and explore strategies to mitigate the challenges confronting the industry. During the meeting, representatives from the manufacturing sector emphasized that any reduction in cement prices would be contingent upon the implementation of specific government interventions aimed at addressing critical industry issues.

Government and industry act to stabilize cement prices.

Also, the unprecedented spike in cement prices, soaring as high as ₦13,000 per bag in various retail outlets across the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Enugu, and other regions, prompted urgent action from the government. President Bola Tinubu called for a meeting to deliberate on lasting solutions to the price surge, with Minister Umahi expressing grave concerns about the adverse economic implications of exorbitant cement prices. Attributing the price hike to a combination of factors including smuggling, poor road infrastructure, high energy costs, and foreign exchange challenges, Minister Umahi reiterated the commitment of cement manufacturers to lowering prices. He underscored the consensus reached between the government and industry stakeholders to set a standardized price range for cement nationwide, emphasizing that prices would vary depending on location.

According to Minister Umahi, the agreed-upon price range of ₦7,000 to ₦8,000 per 50kg bag of cement is aimed at restoring market stability and ensuring affordability for consumers across the country. He further urged cement manufacturers to implement robust price monitoring mechanisms to enforce compliance with the agreed-upon pricing framework. In addition to Minister Umahi, the meeting was attended by Doris Uzoka-Anite, Minister of Trade and Investment, along with representatives from leading cement manufacturers. The collaborative efforts between the government and industry players underscore a concerted commitment to addressing the challenges facing the cement sector and mitigating the adverse effects of price fluctuations on the Nigerian economy.

Complexities and efforts in Nigeria’s cement price history.

Looking back at the history of cement prices in Nigeria, reflects a tumultuous journey marked by fluctuating market dynamics and regulatory interventions. Over the years, the cement industry has witnessed significant transformations driven by factors such as infrastructure development, population growth, and economic reforms. Understanding the historical context of cement pricing sheds light on the complexities underlying the current price stabilization efforts undertaken by the government and manufacturers. Historically, the Nigerian cement market has been characterized by a dominance of major players such as Dangote, BUA, and Lafarge, whose market share and pricing strategies have shaped industry dynamics. The emergence of these industry giants has contributed to both positive and negative outcomes for consumers and stakeholders alike. While increased competition has led to improved product quality and innovation, it has also posed challenges related to market concentration and pricing power.

Moreover, the Nigerian cement industry has grappled with regulatory uncertainties and policy interventions aimed at fostering market competitiveness and consumer protection. Government initiatives such as the Cement Technology Institute of Nigeria (CTIN) and the Cement Regulatory Council (CRC) have sought to regulate industry practices, promote technological advancements, and ensure adherence to quality standards. However, regulatory efforts have often been met with mixed results due to enforcement challenges and industry resistance. In recent years, the Nigerian cement market has experienced significant price fluctuations driven by a myriad of factors including currency devaluation, inflationary pressures, and supply chain disruptions.

Related Article: ECONOMY: Infrastructure dev. may boost cement industry

Finally, the COVID-19 pandemic further exacerbated these challenges, leading to disruptions in production and distribution channels, which in turn, impacted cement prices across the country. As a result, consumers have faced the brunt of price volatility, with construction projects and real estate developments bearing the economic burden. Against this backdrop, the recent agreement between the federal government and cement manufacturers to stabilize prices reflects a concerted effort to address the systemic challenges facing the industry. By establishing a price ceiling for cement, stakeholders aim to mitigate market uncertainties, enhance consumer confidence, and stimulate economic growth. However, the success of this initiative hinges on effective implementation and monitoring mechanisms to ensure compliance and prevent price manipulation.

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