FG Attributes Rising Cement Price to Production Challenges

Adeniyi Adebayo

By James Emejo

The federal government yesterday lamented the rising price of cement in the country.

It attributed the high cost of the product to production challenges, adding that it is currently engaging stakeholders in the industry to address the issue.

It therefore, urged the public to desist from panic purchase of the product.

Cement prices has risen by over 60 per cent in recent times, raising concerns by Nigerians.

However, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Niyi Adebayo, said in a statement issued by the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Mr. Nasir Sani-Gwarzo, that discussion between the government and cement manufacturers were being ramped up in order to meet the increased demand of the commodity.

The minister further blamed the hike in the price of cement on reduction in production volumes in the second and third quarters of 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the EndSARS protests as well as downtimes in some manufacturing plants.

Adebayo said the development affected the volume of stockpile in the supply chain due to the reduction of cash flow to major distributors as well as high cost of transportation.

He further observed that there had been massive build-up of demand from public works contractors as they strive to meet milestones and deadlines on projects across the country.

He said, “we urge the public not to embark on panic buying and storage of the product as the current market price is temporary,” assuring the public that government will continue to be on the alert to its responsibility of ensuring goods and services are available at reasonable prices.