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Reps to probe manufacturers over ‘arbitrary’ increase in cement prices

Reps to probe manufacturers over ‘arbitrary’ increase in cement prices
March 13
16:52 2024

The house of representatives has resolved to investigate the “arbitrary” increase in the price of cement by manufacturers.

The green chamber passed the resolution during the plenary session on Wednesday after the adoption of a motion sponsored by Gaza Gbefwi from Nasarawa and Ademorin Kuye from Lagos.

The price of cement reached a record high in recent weeks, fluctuating between N8,000 and N10,000 per bag.

On February 13, the federal government and the manufacturers agreed to peg the price of a 50kg bag of cement between N7,000 and N8,000.


Last month, the senate also resolved to probe the hike in the prices of cement and other building products in the country.


While leading the debate on the motion Gbefwi, the lead sponsor, said the increase in cement price has led to a hike in house rent.


He said the raw materials for the production of cement — lime, silica, alumina, iron oxide, and gypsum — are all sourced locally and not affected by exchange rate volatility.

The lawmaker claimed that all factors of production and “elements of the cement production flow chart are also sourced locally and have not changed significantly year-on-year”.

He said the manufacturers of cement are “capitalising on exchange volatility to arbitrarily increase the price of the product, whose cost of production has not changed significantly since last year”.

“The cement cabal is unconscionably inflicting hardship on Nigerians as the prices of rent and associated services have increased,” he said.


“The increase is a direct affront and sabotage of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration’s effort to bring comfort to the populace and should be resolved immediately.”

Supporting the motion, Obuku Oforji from Bayelsa said the hike in the price of cement will deny civil servants the opportunity to build their own houses.

Yusuf Gagdi from Plateauit said the “unpatriotic” attitude of cement manufacturers is worrisome.

The lawmaker said cement is smuggled to Cameroon, Chad, and Niger while Nigerians get the product at an exorbitant price.


Osawaru Adesuwa from Edo said cement manufacturers “enjoy tax breaks and incentives from the government but are inconsiderate to Nigerians”.

Aliyu Madaki from Kano said the “arbitrary” price increase by manufacturers is a “corrupt and abuse of power”.


“We must not allow few individuals to control the economy,” he said.

Sada Soli from Katsina said there is no monopoly in the cement industry as the market is liberal.


The motion was adopted when it was put to a voice vote by Tajudeen Abbas, speaker of the house.

Consequently, the house mandated the committees on solid minerals development, commerce, industry and special duties to investigate the “arbitrary” increase in the price of cement by manufacturers and report back within four weeks.


The house also invited cement manufacturers to appear before the plenary session to brief lawmakers on the hike of cement prices.

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