Nigerians Groan As Cement Price Hits New High in Days

Cement bags
20 February 2024

Cement price across the country has risen to a new high of N10,500 for a 50kg bag in a question one week.

Despite the recent price slash by BUA Cement of a 50kg bag of the product to N3,500, Vanguard Homes & Property findings revealed that the price hike cuts across manufacturers.

Within a week, between February 11 and today, the price of a 50kg bag of cement has risen to about N10,500 in many parts of Lagos, Ogun and states across the country, following the biting effect of inflation.

The ever-rising price of cement has taken the end users of the product by surprise, as they did not bargain for the price change.

A building engineer, Engr. Amos Adegoke, who spoke to our correspondent, said "With the current rising price of cement which is not even available, we will have to stop work on the project we are currently handling. We have wait and see what happens in the next few weeks, and if the price increase persists, we have no option than to play along the market trends, and of course, the market trends will certainly affect tenants entering the building.

The periodic increase in the product's price has made retailers halt sales, fearing that manufacturers might increase prices soon, as many of them have closed shop against customers, saying there is no cement now, we are expecting cement.

On the reason for the rising price of the product, some dealers said manufacturers have increased their depot prices to a new high following the general hike in prices of things in the country.

A cement dealer in Magboro area of Obafemi-Owode Local Government Area of Ogun State said the country is witnessing the rise in the price of cement because producers increased their depot prices, coupled with the high cost of transportation.

Meanwhile, Real Estate Developers' Association of Nigeria (REDAN), has called on President Bola Tinubu to intervene, saying the rising cost of cement would worsen the country's economy.

In a statement recently, Aliyu Wamakko, REDAN's president, called on Tinubu to invite cement manufacturers for an urgent discussion to prevent further hardship for Nigerians.

Wamakko said there is economic hardship in the country and the upward trajectory of cement prices would exacerbate the already difficult situation for Nigerians, particularly those working in the real estate sector.

"The price of ready-mix concrete will also be increased while the cost of in-situ production of concrete will rise significantly. Such an increment, if allowed to take place, will worsen the economic situation of the nation," he said.

"When there is construction, there is multiple employment and it helps to reduce the poverty index of the country. But remember, because of no employment... the resultant effect is banditry, kidnapping, armed robbery.

"The federal government should also remember that we have 28 million housing deficit in Nigeria.

"Cement is an essential ingredient in the production of buildings. Frequency in the increase of its price has negatively impacted the nation's housing sector. Experience has shown that high prices of cement tend to encourage a reduction in the quality of building production."

On September 25, 2023, the Cement Producers Association of Nigeria warned that the government's plan to introduce concrete roads could lead to an increase in the price of cement, from the current price of N5,000 to N9,000.

TheCable understands that the price of cement has now reached N8,000 as at February 12, 2024.

Speaking on the consequences of the rising cost, Wamakko said the government should take a long-term approach to address the recurring issue of cement price hikes by facilitating increased participation in the cement industry. He said it is unacceptable for Nigerians to pay more than N3,500 per bag of cement.

The REDAN boss called on the president to investigate the reasons for the price increases and to take action to ensure that "the promised price of N3,500 by a cement manufacturer is achieved".

According to Wamakko, any further increase in the price of cement would be a direct threat to the 'Renewed Hope' agenda housing programme of the federal government.

"Cement is a major component in building construction, serving as a binder substance, hardens and adheres to other materials to bind them together," he said.

He said Abdulsamad Rabiu, the chairman of BUA Group, had last year, announced the intention of his brand to reduce the ex-factory price of its cement to N3,500 beginning from January 2024.

"But the price has remained unchanged," Wamakko added.

The Estate Surveyorsand Valuers Registration Board of Nigeria (ESVARBON) is pleased to announce the appointment of ESV Shehu Oyeteju Janet, FNIVS, RSV, Fmp as the new Registrar of the board following a unanimous decision at the Board's meeting held on Thursday, February 8, 2024.

Housing deficit:

Lagos upscales partnership with FG, investors to deliver 4,000 units in 4 yrs

According to a statement by the board signed by its Chairman, ESV Gershom Henshaw, ESV Shehu O. Janet, until her appointment was the Deputy Registrar of the Board and head of Northern Region and Registration Unit.

"In her new role, she will oversee the administration of the Secretariat, Registration and regulation of Estate Surveyors and Valuers across Nigeria, upholding professional standards and promoting excellence in alignment with the vision and mission of ESVARBON.

"The entire Board extends heartfelt congratulations to ESV Shehu O. Janet on her appointment as the Registrar. It is believed that your commitment to the overall success of the Board will justify the confidence reposed in you by the Board", the statement noted.

Recall that since ESVARBON was established in 1975, Mrs. Shehu is the first female to be appointed as Registrar of the board.

Lagos State Government, under the administration of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has disclosed plans to partner with Federal Government and private investors in delivering at least 4,000 affordable housing units shortfall of targeted 7,000 units to teeming residents in the next four years.

Commissioner for Housing, Moruf Akinderu-Fatai, disclosed this at a media conference in his office, Alausa, Ikeja, while unveiling activities of the ministry so far and the immediate plans for several interventions to increase housing units in 2024 and beyond under the present administration.

Akinderu-Fatai, noted that "The government is aware of the uncontrolled influx of people into Lagos," stressing that the development has put pressure on the government to build more homes to bridge the gap of housing deficit.

According to him, partnership with FG and private investors is one of the strategies being used by the state government to increase the availability of decent affordable homes in the state to the people.

He said, "We will continue to respond to the challenges of housing deficit particularly the low-income earners, through involvement of the private sector."

Akinderu-Fatai said to achieve the goals of sustainable provision of decent homes in the state and inline with the THEMES plus agenda, government would collaborate with FG and private investors to achieve the Lagos of "our dreams in the housing sector."

He said, "We cannot afford to be held back in the provision of decent affordable homes, our word stands as our bond in the housing sector of making Lagosians homeowners to reduce housing insufficiency in the state.

"Despite various challenges, we are still managing to make sure that we meet demand of housing deficit in Lagos.

"The number of housing units provided in the last four and a half years is 3,000, but our target is to meet up 7000 housing units in the next four years.

"We are also speaking and working with the Federal Mortgage Bank, through the Federal Ministery of Housing to see how we can also collaborate together and produce houses to develop mortgage that people can key into.

"So we are not looking at one direction, we are looking at it from all angles. We are looking at the budgetary provision that we are not stopping. Mr. Governor has been gracious and the state of House of Assembly has been gracious enough to continue to support us.

"We are looking at how we can be collaborate with the private sector to look into the low income people and see how they can even achieve it as Corporate Social Responsibility, CSR. For example, If it's a bank and you are making a lot of profit, why not look at how you can help the poor through CSR.?

"No matter the numbers, if you can do 100, 200 units, we are ready to collaborate with you.

"Meanwhile, we are getting positive feedback. So the issue of us collaborating with private sector is something that we taking very seriously because it is a special pillar in the THEME', Renewed Hope agenda.

"That provision of homes and Legos must find a way not only to be part of it, but also to be a major player, so that we can leverage on the kind of assistance that federal government is going to give to us.

"It is the passion of Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu's administration to see that the housing deficit is reduced to the barest minimum."

Speaking on funding challenge of the housing delivery, the commissioner said the budget of the state would not meet up with the huge gap of housing requirements of the people hence the need to partner with the players in the real estate sector.

He said it was the only solution to building more affordable homes for the low and high-income earners in the state.

Akinderu-Fatai said that inflation poses a challenge to building more homes and effectively bridging the housing gap, the state was also considering granting incentives to private investors who are financially able to support the state government to build for the low-income earners.

The commissioner mentioned that the state government will continue to cater to the needs of first-time buyers who are in dire need of such accommodation facilities through outright purchase and rent platforms.

Speaking on the issue of security concerns in some of the housing schemes, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Engr. Abdulhafis Toriola, said a lot of complaints have been received from some of the estates.

"There were reports that some homeowners were harbouring people with questionable characters, thus posing threats to residents.

"The ministry, as a matter of urgency, shall investigate and take the right step towards safeguarding the lives and prosperity of residents in the affected estates," Toriola stated.

The Permanent Secretary, also urged allottees to take ownership of joint facilities and follow the rules put in place to maintain the estates.

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