Cement prices in Nigeria have risen again, this time by 66.6 per cent, to NGN3000 per bag (US$19.5) from NGN1800, despite spirited efforts by stakeholders to hold the prices down.
Local cement manufacturers had been given import certificates by the Federal Government, in an effort to bridge the short- fall in supply early in the year, when cement prices were soaring uncontrollably.
Informed industry sources told BusinessDay however, that the certificates, which have limited timeframes, have since expired and could not be renewed immediately because of recent changes in the leadership of the Industry and Commerce Ministry (now Ministry of Trade and Investment).
Cement prices across the country fell to about NGN1 800 a few months ago, following a directive from government, that cement manufacturers bring the price of this vital commodity down in 30 days.
BusinessDay sources say that because the certificates have expired, Customs cannot allow into the country, stocks of cement, now lying at the ports.