The Cement Producers Association of Nigeria has expressed concerns that the federal government’s plan to introduce concrete roads could increase the price of cement to N9,000 per bag, up from the current rate of N5,000.
In a statement jointly signed by the National Chairman, Prince David Iweta, and National Secretary, Chief Reagan Ufomba, the association commended the Minister of Works for supporting the idea of cement-made roads but cautioned about potential adverse consequences if the supply side of the equation is not adequately addressed.
The statement reads:
“Our findings from various parts of the country show that cement sells for as high as N6000 per bag in the rainy season.
“We predict that it will sell for over N9,000 per bag in the dry season, especially with the pronouncement of the Honourable Minister of Works on cement technology and the marching order on housing by Mr President if the government does not take proactive steps.
“While we commend the Honourable Minister’s position on cement-made roads, we warn of the dire consequences if the supply end is not properly addressed. It would amount to a dereliction of duty not to intervene. And the time is now.
“To do otherwise is to continue in a worsening pipe dream that prices would suddenly drop on this essential input that will continue to drain the purse of Nigerians, render them homeless, encourage chaos between demand and supply, and worsen the infrastructure deficit it sets out to cure, and lead to an unprecedented price hike.”
The association has also called upon the current administration to permanently resolve the persistent issue of rising cement prices by encouraging greater involvement in the cement industry, emphasizing that Nigerians should not have to pay more than N5,600 per bag.
To address this challenge, the cement producers have recommended that the government place more emphasis on road design that accommodates both cement technology and asphalt pavement simultaneously.