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Friday, May 24, 2024

High Price Of Cement: Senate To Probe Producers

Nigeria’s Senate, has resolved to probe the sudden hike in the price of cement and other building products in the country.

The red chamber said on Wednesday that the probe would enable it find a solution to the problem.

According to The Cable, the resolution was adopted after a point of order by Lola Ashiru, deputy senate leader, on the “Need to Urgently Address the Increase in Cement Price and other Building Materials in Nigeria”.

Ashiru said the construction industry is vital for infrastructure development and economic growth as it heavily relies on cement and other building materials for sustenance.

“This is because key building materials particularly cement and iron rod prices are now sold at prohibitive rates with cement and iron rod recently rising from N5,500 per bag in January 2024, to about N14,000; and N8,500 to N17,000 respectively,” he said.

“Cognisant that affordable cement and other building materials are indispensable to national development, addressing the issue in time will be advantageous to the construction industry.

“This is because it will ensure the progress of constituency projects and strengthen national security by providing jobs and stability and improve the livelihood of Nigerians generally.”

The senate, after the presentation, mandated the Francis Fadahunsi-led committee on industries to investigate the activities of cement manufacturing companies operating within Nigeria.

The lawmakers said the aim is to ascertain whether market manipulation or monopolistic practices were the reasons behind the price hike, charging the panel to report back in two weeks.

The price of cement has been oscillating between N8,000 and N10,000 per bag from about N4,000 a few weeks ago.

Dangote, BUA, and Lafarge were some cement manufacturers summoned by the works ministry.

On February 13, the federal government and the cement producers agreed to peg the price of 50kg bags of cement between N7,000 and N8,000. – TC

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