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The Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Ahmed Dangiwa, has threatened that the government would allow for massive importation of cement
if the local manufacturers refuse to bring down the price of the product.

His threat came a day after the Nigerian government and major cement manufacturers in the country agreed to bring down the price of the product.

At an earlier meeting the major cement manufacturers – Dangote, BUA and Lafarge – agreed that the price of a bag of cement will not exceed between N7,000 and N8,000.

The commitment was given at a meeting of the Minister of Works, David Umahi, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Doris Uzoka-Anite as well as representatives of BUA Cement, Dangote Cement, Lafarge and Cement Producers Association on Monday.

The price of a bag of cement, used for construction across Nigeria, has increased to about N13,000 in many parts of the country amidst a cost-of-living crisis that has led to spikes in the prices of goods and services across the country.

“Clearly, this is a crisis for housing delivery. An increase in essential building materials means an increase in the prices of houses,” Dangiwa said.

“We are not the only country facing these challenges, many countries are facing the same type of challenges that we are facing, some even worse than that.


“But, as patriotic citizens, we have to rally round the country when there is crisis, to ensure that we do our best to save the situation.”

Mr Dangiwa said the cement manufacturers are enjoying the benefits of government policies.

“The government stopped importation of cement in other to empower you to produce more and sell cheaper,” he said.

“Otherwise the government can open the borders for mass importation of cement, the price will crash, but you will have no business to do.”

One person cannot be selling at N3500 per bag and another selling at N7000 per bag and you cannot call them to order.

“The association is expected to monitor price control, otherwise the association has no need to exist.”

Earlier, the Executive Secretary of CEMAN, Salako James, said the housing policy of the administration of President Bola Tinubu was laudable and every responsible Nigerian has to key into it.

He, however, identified some areas of concern and appealed to the government to look into them to tackle the issue of cement pricing.

Mr Salako identified the challenges of gas supply to heavy users like the cement industry and urged the government to create a window whereby gas will be bought with Naira instead of dollars.

He also complained about the distribution channel, stressing that there was a great difference between the price from the manufacturers and the market price.

He, therefore called for government intervention to help stabilise the situation and bring sanity to the economy.

At the end of the meeting, the minister directed that a committee should be constituted to review the situation and come out with implementable resolutions that would benefit the common Nigerian.

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