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Dangote, Bua, Lafarge Agree to Reduce Cement Prices to N7,000 After Meeting with FG

Nigeria’s leading cement manufacturers yesterday agreed to reduce prices, noting that despite the rising cost of doing business, a 50kg bag of the product shouldn’t be higher than between N7,000 and N8,000.

Coming out of a meeting with the Minister of Works, David Umahi and the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Doris Uzoka-Anite, in Abuja, Dangote Cement, BUA and Lafarge, said a price monitoring team would be set up to ensure that there’s no price gouging.

A statement by Umahi’s Special Adviser, Uchenna Orji, said it is expected that price will drop after securing government’s interventions on the challenges of the manufacturers on gas, import duty, smuggling, and better road network.

“The meeting noted the challenges of the manufacturers like: Cost of gas; high import duty on spare parts; bad road network; high foreign exchange; and smuggling of cement to neighbouring nations.

“The government noted the challenges and reacted as follows: Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment to seek some remedies from Mr. President on cost of gas and import duties.

“The Federal Ministry of Works is to give more attention to fixing of the roads, especially around the locations of the manufacturers,” it stated.

On the issue of smuggling cement, the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment said it will deepen the already commenced engagement with the National Security Adviser (NSA) on how to stop smuggling.

“ The cement manufacturers and the government noted that the current high price of cement is abnormal in some locations nationwide.  Ideally, cement retail prices should not cost more than N7,000.00 to N8,000.00/ 50kg bag of cement.

“Therefore, the three cement manufacturers: Dangote Cement Plc, BUA Cement Plc and Lafarge Africa Plc have agreed that cement cost will not be more than between N7,000.00 and N8,000.00/50kg bag depending on the location,” the statement added.

Going forward, the government advised cement manufacturers to set up a price monitoring mechanism to ensure compliance.

Also, the manufacturers, the statement said, have willingly accepted to do so and to sanction any of their distributors or retailers found wanting.

“Government expects the agreed price to drop after securing interventions on the challenges of the manufacturers on gas, import duty, smuggling, and better road network. The meeting agreed to reconvene in 30 days to review progress made,” the statement added.

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