Cement Prices: Block Moulders Call for Lower Import Duties

The National Association of Block moulders of Nigeria (NABMON) has urged the federal government to reduce import duties on cement manufacturing components to attract more foreign investment in the sector.

The National President, NABMON, Mr Adesegun Banjoko, gave the advice in a statement issued yesterday  in Lagos.

He said the price of one bag of cement in Nigeria, currently in the region of N7,000 and N8,000 was still considered too expensive.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the federal government and cement manufacturers had in February, in Abuja agreed on a N7,000 to N8,000 price range for one bag of 50 kg cement.

However, cement manufacturers said the cement price reduction wasn’t guaranteed, indicating that the sustainability of the price decrease was dependent on the government following through on its promises to address certain industry challenges.

Banjoko in the statement said the threat by the government to open up the borders to increase supply had also not brought down the prices.

“Of recent, the issue of our key raw material, cement, attracted front burner attention nationwide, and the dust is yet to finally settle as far as we are concerned because the N7000 to N8000 offer is still on the high side.

“The government has threatened to open the borders to increase supply.

“Please also reduce import duties on imported components for manufacturing cement and also invite more global investors into the sector so that ‘the market can determine fair prices’”, he said. The NABMON president also advised the government to discourage cement smuggling to neighbouring countries.

Banjoko said that Nigeria had a larger population and presumably a higher demand for cement, yet it lags behind South Africa in production facilities.

He suggested the need to invest in building more cement factories to meet the country’s domestic needs and become a potential exporter.

“South Africa, with a population of 60million, has 15 cement factories, and Nigeria with a population three times larger has only three cement factories, then there is still much work to be done,” he said.

Banjoko, therefore, expressed optimism that ongoing research efforts would find alternative materials for cement production in Nigeria.

“It is, however, heart-warming to our awareness that all hands are currently on deck at our research institutes and universities on cement innovations research.

“This is with a view to finding locally sourced alternative materials for cheaper, quality cement and even other building materials“, he said.