FG Warns of Opening Borders for Cement Importation Amid Price Surge

In an  effort to address the surging prices of cement in Nigeria, the Federal Government has issued a stern warning to local cement manufacturers, threatening to reopen borders for cement importation if they do not comply with directives to reduce the cost of cement in the country.

This development emerged during an emergency meeting in Abuja, where the Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Arc Ahmed Dangiwa, voiced the government’s concerns and expectations.

Arc Dangiwa highlighted that while the government acknowledges the macroeconomic challenges currently facing the nation, it finds the repeated significant price hikes of cement, a critical construction material, to be unjustifiable and excessive.

He pointed out that most raw materials for cement production, including limestone, clay, silica sand, and gypsum, are sourced locally and should not be subject to dollar pricing.

The minister specifically addressed the cement manufacturers’ rationale behind the price increases, such as the cost of gas and mining equipment. He argued that gas, as a locally sourced raw material, should not lead to price hikes, and the longevity of mining equipment, which is utilized over decades, does not justify frequent price adjustments.

The government’s decision to potentially open the borders for cement importation marks a significant shift from its previous stance of protecting local manufacturers to ensure their growth and dominance in the local market.

This move is seen as a last resort to make cement more affordable for Nigerians and stimulate competition within the industry, ultimately benefiting the consumers.

The warning comes amidst growing public discontent over the rising cost of building materials, which has adversely affected construction projects and housing development across the country.

The government’s firm stance aims to stabilize the market and ensure that the price of cement reflects the local production realities, making housing more accessible and affordable for all Nigerians.

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