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High price: FG mulls lifting ban on cement importation

The federal government has threatened to review its decision on the ban on the importation of cement over the escalating price of cement which has…

The federal government has threatened to review its decision on the ban on the importation of cement over the escalating price of cement which has put it out of the reach of ordinary Nigerians.

The Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Ahmed Dangiwa who  dropped the hint yesterday during a meeting with cement manufacturers in Abuja, described the escalating cement prices as a crisis for housing delivery and the construction industry in the country.

He  accused cement manufacturers of taking advantage of the fall of the Nigerian currency against the dollar to hike cement prices.

He said: “The government stopped the importation of cement to empower local producers to produce more. If the government opens the borders for mass importation of cement, the price will crash. There will be no business for the local manufacturers and at the same time, the prices will go down.”

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The Executive Secretary of Cement Manufacturers’ Association of Nigeria (CMAN), James Salako, said the association does not have control over prices.

“In CMAN, we have a cardinal principle not to discuss price. We must not discuss it because of competition law. We are conscious of it. So when it comes to the issue of pricing, it is individual companies that have their own policies,” he said.

Rabiu Umar, group chief commercial officer at Dangote Industries, said, “We are willing to see what we can do in terms of putting some mechanics to control the prices which in reality are not purely within our control but we are willing to work with the government.”

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