Cement Prices Soar to ₦9,000 Amidst Government Push for Concrete Roads, Manufacturers Warn of Dire Consequences

In a recent development, the Cement Producers Association of Nigeria has issued a stark warning that the cost of cement is set to skyrocket from ₦5,000 to ₦9,000 due to the Federal Government’s ambitious plan to introduce concrete roads.

In a joint statement signed by its National Chairman, Prince David Iweta, and National Secretary Chief Reagan Ufomba, the association expressed its appreciation for Minister of Works David Umahi’s commitment to using cement in road construction. However, it also cautioned that this endeavor could have dire consequences if not addressed comprehensively at the supply level. Failure to do so, the association argued, could dash the hopes of Nigerians who anticipate a reduction in cement prices.

The association proposed a solution by urging the government to prioritize road designs that incorporate both cement technology and asphalt pavement simultaneously. Their statement emphasized the gravity of the situation, stating, “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.”

While commending the Minister’s stance on cement-based roads, the association underscored the urgent need to address supply issues. They cautioned that neglecting this aspect would be a dereliction of duty, leading to escalating prices for this vital commodity, impacting Nigerians’ finances, exacerbating housing challenges, disrupting supply and demand equilibrium, exacerbating infrastructure deficits, and causing unprecedented price hikes.

The association called on the Minister of Works to prioritize road designs accommodating both cement technology and asphalt pavement. This approach would facilitate a smooth transition, enabling contractors to invest in the necessary equipment and retooling. The statement also called for the regulation of traffic loads through the introduction of weighbridges on highways.

Furthermore, the association urged the government to finalize the backward integration policy initiated during the late Yar’adua administration. It emphasized that achieving cement availability and affordability hinged on breaking free from monopolies and favoritism.

In a concluding call to action, the association urged President Bola Tinubu’s government to address the recurring issue of cement price hikes by expanding sector participation to companies with verifiable evidence of local investment, including greenfield licenses and quarrying.

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