Nigerians may begin to expect fall in the price of cement as part of the 7Mt of bagged cement approved for importation by the Federal government in January this year has started to arrive the nation’s ports. Daily Sun investigation show that some of the bagged cement vessels are already in the port awaiting discharge.
The letter from the Presidency which was made available to some agencies at the ports including customs (June 16, 2009), reads in part. “I wish to convey Mr president’s approval for importation of bagged cement, as well as bulk cement, as a means of bringing down the price nationwide.
President Yar’Adua has approved the following import tariff 10 percent duty and five per cent VAT for 50kg bags bagged cement, and five per cent duty and five per cent VAT for bulk importation of cement. By this letter, you are hereby advised to allow the clearance of imported cement currently awaiting discharge at the ports and off-shore, for the companies approved by the president.” Please ensure strict compliance.
The letter, written to the Comptroller General of Customs, is copied to Managing Director, Global Scan systems Limited Chief liason officer, SGS Nigeria Limited and managing Dirdector, Cotecna Inspection for their information and action accordingly. The lucky companies which got the president’s approval for the cement importation and cut in tariff rate of duty include, WAPCO/Lafarge which is allowed importation of 1.57Mt of Cement, Ashaka Cement Company is allowed 790,000t of Cement, Benue Cement Company (Dangote) is allowed 400,000t of Cement, Obajana Cement Company (Dangote) is allowed 800,000t of Cement Cement Company of northern Nigeria (Sokoto), is allowed 400,000t of cement.
Others are Unicem Calabar allowed 300,000t of cement and Purechem Ogun state is allowed 75,000t of cement. The president also approved an addendum which allows new entrants into the importation regime and they include the following:
Minag Holdings Limited Enugu which is allowed to import 500,000t, Mate well products Limited, Sapele which is also alloewed to import 500,000t of Cement, BUA Cement Limited Kano, N.I.C.A Limited, Maiduguri, Reagan Renaissance Limited, Calabar and MAAN LABABIBI, Lagos are each to allowed to import 500,000t of the commodity.
The allocation specification is signed by the Director General in the Federal Ministry of Finance, Dr Bright Okogu.