Senate To Investigate Increase in Cement Price

The Nigerian Senate has initiated an inquiry into the recent surge in cement prices by local producers. The decision came after Deputy Senate Leader, Lola Ashiru, raised a point of order during Wednesday’s session in Abuja. Earlier in the week, cement manufacturers had pledged to reduce prices from N10,000 to a range between N7,000 and N8,000 following discussions with the federal government. They also expressed willingness to further lower prices if the government fulfills its commitments.

In response to the persistent price issue, the federal government threatened on Tuesday to permit cement imports by opening the country’s borders. Ashiru, in his address to the Senate, proposed empowering the Committee on Industries to conduct a thorough investigation into the operations of cement companies in Nigeria. This move aims to provide clarity on the factors contributing to the price hike and ensure accountability within the industry.

The Senate’s resolution underscores the importance of addressing concerns about affordability and accessibility of essential commodities like cement. By delving into the activities of cement producers, the Senate seeks to identify any irregularities or market manipulations that may be driving up prices. This investigative approach reflects a commitment to safeguarding consumer interests and fostering a transparent business environment.

Through this investigation, the Senate aims to gather comprehensive insights into the dynamics of the cement industry, paving the way for informed policy decisions and regulatory interventions. By holding stakeholders accountable and promoting fair market practices, the Senate endeavors to mitigate price fluctuations and ensure stability in the cement sector, ultimately benefiting Nigerian consumers and the economy at large.

Ashiru also urged the Senate to mandate the committee to ensure that cement companies adhered strictly to fair market practice and desist from anti-competitive practice.

He stressed that construction industry was vital to infrastructural development in the country.

He lamented that the daily increase in the price of the product had hampered various developmental endeavours across the country.

The lawmaker said: “This is because key building materials particularly cement and iron rod prices are now sold at prohibitive rates with cement and iron rod recently rising from N5, 500 per bag in January 2024 to about N14, 000 and N8,500 to N17, 000 respectively.

“Cognisant that affordable cement and other building materials are indispensable to national development, addressing the issue in time will be advantageous to the construction industry.

“This is because it will ensure the progress of constituency projects and strengthen national security by providing jobs and stability and improve the livelihood of Nigerians generally.”