By Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
Prospective house builders and the construction industry will have reasons to smile soon as cement manufacturers have put the machinery in motion to bring down the price of the product.
Making this disclosure at the State House, AbujaÂ ThursdayÂ after a meeting with Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, the Chairman of BUA Cement, Alhaji Abdulsamad Isyaku Rabiu, said the price of cement would fall soon, as some of the factors that contributed to the high cost of the building material have been addressed.
He listed such factors to include the foreign exchange crisis and the high cost of low pour fuel oil (LPFO) used to run cement plants.
According to him, the cost of LPFO has dropped drastically, while a noticeable improvement has also been recorded in foreign exchange rate.
Against this backdrop, Rabiu said producers had begun moves to bring down the cost of cement, assuring the public that the price would drop soon.
â€œCement production requires quite a lot of energy; that is quite a significant part of the cost element of cement production. That has been addressed since the price of LPFO that we use has come down. Iâ€™m talking about Sokoto Cement Company now.
â€œOf course, the other cement plants scattered all over the country like may be in the southern part of the country are using gas which is actually much cheaper. But for Sokoto, for example, we use LPFO and LPFO is quite expensive.
â€œWe have to transport it either from Lagos or from the Kaduna refinery if there is availability. That you know from time to time impacts on the cost. But I can assure you that the three major companies producing cement in Nigeria are working very hard to see that the price of cement comes down in the very near future.
â€œWe are trying very hard to make sure the price comes down. Of course, the foreign exchange aspect has improved dramatically. That, as we all know, was a big issue. Now, that has improved considerably. So, I think we will see quite a reduction in the very near future,â€ he said.
He also said he had visited the Presidential Villa to invite the acting president to commission the new BUA Cement Sokoto plant that is nearing completion.
â€œWell, I donâ€™t think I am here to discuss policies. Rather, the reason I came here was to come and pay respect to the acting president and to also solicit his support in commissioning one of the projects that we are doing. Thatâ€™s why I came here.
â€œItâ€™s a project that we have actually almost completed. It is Sokoto Cement and we are hoping to commission the plant very soon. We discussed that and he is looking into it and heâ€™s promised to get back to us on his attendance,â€ he stated.