Cement: Reps Give Alake, Dangote, BUA 14-Day Ultimatum Over Price Hike

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The House of Representatives Joint Committee on Solid Minerals, Commerce, Industry and Special Duties on Tuesday summoned the Minister for Solid Minerals, Mr Dele Alake and some cement manufacturers to appear before it within 14 days.

Others expected to appear alongside the Minister are Dangote, BUA, and Ibeto Cements. While the minister is expected to appear on May 21st, the companies and other stakeholders will appear on May 20th.

They are to explain why the price of cement has refused to drop despite the intervention by the federal government.

While issuing the summons, the Chairman of the House Committee on Solid Minerals and Chairman of the Joint Committee, Hon. Jonathan Gbwefi Gaza expressed dismay that: “There is no minister or permanent Secretary representation here. It does not tell well of the ministry. They should appear here on Tuesday, May,l 21st, 2024 unfailingly.

“We are giving them the concession not to appear on Monday, May 20, 2024, due to the Federal Executive Council meeting FEC”

Gaza said the Investigative hearing was to find out why there is an arbitrary increase in the price of cement in the country.

He stated that any increase in the price of cement and other building materials has a multiplier effect on the nation’s economy adding that the investigation was to find out those who are behind the most recent hike in prices.

While declaring open the event, Speaker Tajudeen Abbas said the persistent rise in the price of cement and other building materials was unacceptable.

Represented by the deputy speaker, Hon.Benjamin Kalu, the speaker said, “The hearing arises from the House of Representatives’ deep concern for the people it represents and the need for transparent engagement with key stakeholders in the cement industry, particularly the manufacturers”.

He said “Our goal is to inform Nigerians about the industry’s current state and collaboratively find solutions to navigate the challenges.

“The persistent rise in cement prices has had a detrimental impact not only on the built environment but also on the entire economy. Cement is a
fundamental component used in construction projects like bridges, dams, houses, waterworks, and road infrastructure. This makes addressing this issue paramount.

“As you all know, it is self-evident that we have a huge housing deficit presently in Nigeria. According to a study by researchers at the African
Development Bank in the ‘Housing Market Dynamics in Africa’ book, there is a housing deficit of up to 16.9 million units. According to the World Bank, Lagos, Ibadan, Kano, and Abuja, have a 20 per cent rise in housing needs yearly.

“The current total output in the formal housing sector is estimated at no more than 100,000 units. Bridging this gap requires affordable and accessible cement prices for both the government and the private sector.

While factors like exchange rates have contributed to the price increases across various commodities, it is encouraging to see the positive results of the “Renewed Hope” administration’s policies under the leadership of His Excellency, Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

“The House is actively working to establish appropriate legislation that promotes and encourages industrialisation, as well as supports small and medium enterprises. We are committed to collaborating with both cement manufacturers and end-users, believing this is the most effective way to improve the quality of life and standard of living for our citizens”.

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