The price of cement in Nigeria has dropped to an average 24.1 per cent in major towns across the South-South zone, in response to a presidential order aimed at manufacturers to reduce prices, BusinessDay reveals.
In Calabar, capital of Cross River State, which is also home to Nigeria’s third largest cement factory, the United Cement Company of Nigeria (UniCem) Limited, the cement price per bag is now sold at NGN1600 (US$10), against the earlier NGN2200, or a 27.2 per cent drop. The neighbouring Uyo in Akwa Ibom State, shows a downward trend of 22.7 per cent to about NGN1700.
BusinessDay further reports that in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, the oil hub of West Africa and one of Nigeria’s mega cities, cement price dropped only 22.4 per cent to NGN1900 compared to NGN2450 over three weeks ago. But in Yenagoa, the capital of Bayelsa State, the home state of President Goodluck Jonathan, a bag of cement still sells for NGN2000 against the earlier NGN2200, representing a drop of 9.09 per cent.
Further findings reveal that prices have been declining in the neighbouring South East zone. For instance, in Owerri, Imo State, cement prices now go for NGN1850 from NGN2100 previously, an 11.9 per cent drop
Consumers said the good news comes against the backdrop of the meeting initiated by President Jonathan with the Cement Manufacturers Association (CMAN), at which he directed the manufacturers to address and curb rising cement prices. Nationally, all seven cement companies have risen to the challenge of bringing down cement prices, by addressing factors that have combined to push up the product’s retail prices, such as transportation and middlemen.