Managing Director of Ashaka Cement Company of Nigeria (AshakaCem Plc), Engineer Mohammed Mustapha Daggash, yesterday listed factors that have contributed to the recent hike in the price of cement in the country. According to him, one of the key contributors to the high cost of cement in the country is its long chain of distribution, stressing that every distributor adds a certain amount to the price as he/she delivers it to the end consumer.
Besides, he said of recent, the Tsunami disaster in Asia also played a role in hiking the price of the commodity further as it interrupted hitch-free importation of cement from that region to Nigeria. "As you are aware, some percentage of the cement we use in the country is being imported largely from Asia where the recent Tsunami destroyed one of the factories at Lafarge which is based in Banda Aceh", he added.
Engineer Daggash listed the efforts of his company to include the development of a strategy that would ease distribution of AshakaCem to the company’s distributors at moderate costs, expansion of its production capacity as a way of minimizing the quantity of the product imported, etc.
He said his company hopes to raise its production to 800,000t by next year from its present 680, 000t and to 1.2Mt by 2008, stressing that other cement companies in the country are also making efforts to boost their respective capacities just as he made reference to the new cement company being established by the Dangote Industries in Obajana, Kogi state.