Investigations conducted revealed that as of last week, the prices of cement in Lagos and Ogun States ranged between N6,500 and N7,000, a stark contrast to the figures of N3,300 to N3,500 recorded in March 2021.
Devakumar Edwin, the Group Executive Director of Strategy, Portfolio Development, and Capital Projects at Dangote Cement, attributed the surge in cement prices in Nigeria to the global surge in demand for cement prompted by the COVID-19 crisis.
“Nigeria has not been spared, as a combination of changes in monetary policy and low returns from the capital market has led to a significant upsurge in construction activities. To meet local demand, we had to halt exports from our recently launched export terminals, thereby relinquishing dollar earnings,” Edwin explained in 2021.
In 2022, the Block and Concrete Producers Association in Enugu State expressed dismay over the persistent increase in cement prices and other materials essential for block production.
Igwe Ukaegbu, the President of the Oriental Block and Concrete Producers Association, Enugu State, voiced concerns over the adverse impact of rising cement prices on the production output and income of association members.
He appealed to the Federal Government to intervene by granting more licenses to industrialists for cement production.
“Our primary challenge is the exorbitant cost of cement and other essential materials like sand. The cost of production has soared, and our sales have plummeted. We implore the government to intervene by reducing the price of cement and other materials,” Ukaegbu stated.
He further noted the drastic decline in sales, with the cost of cement in Enugu currently standing at N4,550 per bag, with some vendors selling for as high as N5,000 per bag.
In 2023, the Cement Producers Association of Nigeria cautioned that the Federal Government’s proposal to introduce concrete roads would further escalate cement prices to N9,000 per bag from the prevailing N5,000.
In a statement, the association urged the government to take proactive measures to address the persistent hike in cement prices by promoting increased participation in the cement industry.
They emphasized that Nigerians should not be subjected to purchasing cement at prices exceeding N5,600 per bag.
“Our observations indicate that cement is being sold for as high as N6,000 per bag during the rainy season. We foresee it escalating to over N9,000 per bag during the dry season, particularly with the Minister of Works’ directives on cement technology and the President’s mandate on housing if the government fails to act promptly,” the statement read.