Cement manufacturers in Nigeria, say the prevailing harsh business environment is responsible for the rising price of the product. It will be recalled that a bag of cement is now sold for about one thousand Naira or more, depending on the brand and location.
Chairman of Non-metallic mineral products sectoral group of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Dr. Ayola Kolawole Fasina, attributed the consistent price rise on persistent scarcity and exorbitant cost of petroleum products and gas, erratic supply ‘of electricity, poor state of transportation and communication infrastructures, coupled with low demand for locally manufactured goods due to dumping of cheap imported products.
Up till, 1994, gypsum was imported for cement production at between N2000 to -N4000 per tonne for 90% purity but since the ban on its importation, it is now bought locally at N12,000 per tonne for 70% purity.
Similarly, he said that packaging bags which were bought at N5.00 per bag in late 1980s now cost N40.00 per bag. As a result of the erratic power supply from NEPA, every cement plant maintains heavy generators on standby for essential services. The total installed capacity of Nigeria’s Cement Industry which was 5Mta at the end of military rule, is now about 6.2Mta of which only about 50 per cent is utilised.