Dangote, Bua shun cement price hike probe

Leah TwakiMay 7, 20243 min

Dangote and Bua are prominent cement manufacturers who failed to appear before the House of Representatives Committee investigating the recent hike in the price of their product. They have 14 days to show up or possibly face sanctions.

 

bags of cement

The House of Representatives Joint Committee investigating the recent increase in the price of cement in Nigeria has given producers of the product 14 days to show up and justify their decision to increase prices.

The lawmakers also expressed concern over the cost of cement obtainable in Nigeria as compared to what is obtained in other African countries despite having the raw materials in the country.

The 14-day ultimatum was handed down to the manufacturers on Tuesday at the inaugural sitting of the joint committees which was declared open by the Deputy Speaker of the House, Rep. Benjamin Kalu.

OrderPaper recalls that the National Assembly has been agitated by the recent rise of cement prices in the country and resolved to investigate the matter. In the House, a motion on the need for a probe was co-sponsored by Rep. Gaza Gbefwi (SDP, Nasarawa) and Rep. Ademorin Kuye (APC, Lagos) in March.

It can be recalled that the Federal Government and cement manufacturers few months ago agreed to peg the price of a 50kg bag of cement between N7,000 and N8,000.

Speaking at the hearing, the chairman, House Committee on Solid Minerals, Rep. Gbefwi said there’s a need to address this pressing situation of increased cement price, noting that in most African countries, the price of the product is lower compared to what is obtained in Nigeria.

He said: “Our findings showed that the price of cement is 69 per cent higher in Nigeria than in India, 39 per cent higher in Nigeria than in Zambia and 29 per cent higher than in Kenya given the official exchange rate.”

Speaking at the event, Rep. Kalu who represented the Speaker, Tajudeen Abbas, assured cement manufacturers that the public hearing was not intended to witch-hunt them but an avenue to proffer solutions to the challenges affecting the housing sector, particularly the high cost of the product across the country.

Director-General of Mining Cadastre Office (MCO), Obadiah Nkom, told lawmakers at the investigative hearing that the government has not increased any regulatory charges on cement manufacturing. He said the MCO is saddled with issuance of licences which it has achieved through e-platform application and has received over 4000 applications.

Nkom further revealed that Nigeria is blessed with the minerals and other components used in manufacturing cement such as gypsum, coal, and limestone and emphasised that licensing fees have remained unchanged.

Rep. Ahmed Munir (APC Kaduna), Chairman, House Committee on Commerce, expressed concern over the absence of Dangote, Bua and other cement industry stakeholders who failed to appear before the investigative hearing.

The House accordingly gave a 14-day ultimatum for all manufacturers and concerned Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the federal government to make their submission before the committee.

Leah Twaki

A Chemistry graduate, excels as a social media manager, digital journalist, and content creator with an interdisciplinary skills blend of science and communication.

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