CBN Urges Cement Manufactures To Slash Prices
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has appealed to cement manufacturers to consider reducing the high cost of cement.
The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, made the call at the official commissioning of the BUA cement line 4 plant and the ground breaking of the line 5 in Sokoto.
Emefiele said: “Manufacturers in the construction sector to take urgent action in bringing down the price of building materials in Nigeria .”
Daily Trust findings revealed that from December 2020 to January 2022, cement prices rose by 44 percent, impacting prices of products like blocks, rings and others, which utilise cement as a major ingredient for production.
Within the past six months, the price of cement have risen from N3,200 to N4, 600.
Speaking at the occasion, Emefiele said construction companies have called on Cement and steel manufacturers to do something about the skyrocketing prices of these two essential items in the construction sector.
“This sector is one of the major sectors in the economy helping to create employment and boosting growth in our country. We are aware that some of our Cement manufacturers are producing for both the domestic and exports market, but we urge them to pay more attention at satisfying the domestic needs so as to bring down prices.
“On our part, the CBN wishes to reiterate its determination to provide needed support for importation of spares, plants and equipment needed to increase production capacities of our cement plants in the country.”
Emefiele said as part of the efforts of the Buhari administration to drive productivity in the industrial sector and to conserve foreign exchange reserves, a decision was taken by the Government in 2015 to restrict access to foreign exchange for imports of 43 items which could be produced in Nigeria, but for which billions of US Dollars were being expended annually on imports.
He said: “One of the restricted items was cement. In making this decision, we were aware that the key raw material required for the production of cement is limestone, which is readily available across the country.
“Following implementation of this new directive, I am pleased to note that the production capacity of the cement industry in Nigeria has doubled from 30 million tonnes in 2014 to about 60m tonnes in 2021.”