#EndSARS protest caused hike in cement price, says FG


Oba Darasimi

The Federal Government has linked spiral increase in cement price to  the #EndSARS protest, Covid-19 Pandemic and down times experienced by some manufacturing plants.

The development, government said, caused a dwindling fortune of cement, thus causing decrease in stock volume and triggered increase in prices.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Nasir Sani-Gwarzo, advanced the reasons in a signed statement yesterday.

The price of a bag of cement witnessed consistent rise from N2,400 and N2,500 as of September 2020 to an all-time high of N4,000 in December 2020.

The increase has already triggered ripple effect in the open market, where prices have gone up by as much as 60 per cent in recent weeks. The rising prices have also worsened construction costs in a sector, reeling under pressure from disruptive policies and ineffective housing supply.

The permanent Secretary, however, admonished the general public against panic buying of the product, assuring Nigerians that, the ministry was working on ways to achieve price reduction.

He said the Ministry has been working assiduously to engage all the relevant stakeholders in the cement manufacturing sector to address the lingering situation.

The Permanent Secretary further noted that there has been a massive build-up of demand from public works contractors as they are in a hurry to meet milestones and deadlines on projects across the country.

To address the situation, he said the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo, would be engaging with relevant stakeholders in the cement industry with a view to meeting the increased demand of the commodity.

“We urge the public not to embark on panic buying and storage of the product as the current market price is temporary.”

He assured the general public that government will continue to be on the alert to its responsibility of ensuring goods and services are available at reasonable prices.

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