Cement price hike: Reps grill FCCPC, COREN, NBRRI

Leah TwakiMay 21, 20243 min

The House Committee investigating the arbitrary increases in the Prices of Cement blamed the FCCPC for its inability to protect consumer rights over the recent hike in the price of cement

 The  Joint Committee of the House of Representatives investigating the arbitrary increases in the Prices of Cement on Monday grilled the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) over its perceived inability to safeguard the rights of Nigerians amidst a significant increase in cement prices.

 The Joint Committee on Solid Minerals, Industry, Commerce, and Special Duties convened a public hearing to investigate the reasons behind the arbitrary price surge by cement manufacturers in Nigeria. Chairman of the committee, Rep. Jonathan Gaza (SDP Nasarawa), sharply criticized the FCCPC, likening the agency to “a mother that has forgotten her child.”

Gaza highlighted that the rising cost of cement is directly linked to the increasing incidence of building collapses across the country.

In its defence, Boladale Adebyinka, the Director of Surveillance and Investigations at the FCCPC, alongside Engr. Sadiq Abubakar, Chairman of the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), attributed the price hike not to fluctuations in the dollar but to persistent challenges such as erratic power supply, high diesel costs, and other operational expenses.

Adding to the discussion, Jubril Sule, head of building research at the Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute (NBRRI), introduced Postelana as an alternative to traditional cement. This innovation is aimed at mitigating the impact of high cement prices on construction costs.

Furthermore, Deputy Controller of Tariff and Trade at the Nigeria Customs Service, CK Niagwan, informed the committee that there are no records of limestone exportation.

OrderPaper recalls that on May 7, the Committee had given a 14-day ultimatum to prominent cement industries like Dangote, Bua, and others to appear before the committee.

Meanwhile, the Joint Committee also issued a stern warning to the Cement Manufacturers Association of Nigeria over its refusal to appear before the Committee saying the association should desist from using frivolous court injunction to interfere with or halt the ongoing investigation by the House on the arbitrary increase in the price of Cement in the country.

Rep. Gaza gave the warning to the association and other key stakeholders during the opening remarks at the investigative hearing on Monday.

According to Gaza, the persistent absence of the cement manufacturers whom the Committee had summoned twice and they have refused to comply is an affront to the powers of the National Assembly as enshrined in section 88 of the 1999 Constitution and sections 4 and 7 of the Legislative Houses Powers and Privileges Act.

However, the House Committee on Solid Minerals had received a letter from Tunji Abayomi and Co; the representatives of the Nigeria Employees Consultative Association (NECA), who claimed representation for all witnesses summoned.

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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