July 22, 2024
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The Federal Government has announced plans to prioritize road repairs and explore solutions for reducing gas costs and import duties, aiming to decrease the soaring prices of cement across the country. 

This resolution was part of the agreement reached at a meeting between the government and leading cement producers on Monday in Abuja. 

Senator David Umahi, the Minister of Works, alongside Mrs. Doris Uzoka-Anite, the Minister of Trade and Investment, and representatives from the three major cement companies Dangote Plc, BUA Plc, and Lafarge Plc signed the communiqué. 

The document highlights that the government is aware of the difficulties outlined by the manufacturers, such as the cost of gas, elevated import duties on spare parts, poor road infrastructure, significant foreign exchange rates, and the smuggling of cement into neighbouring countries. 

Moreover, the meeting ended with a resolution that the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment would pursue remedies from President Bola Tinubu for the issues of gas pricing and import duties.

Also, the Federal Ministry of Works will focus more on road maintenance, especially near the sites of the manufacturing companies.

To address the problem of cement smuggling, the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment will strengthen its discussions with the National Security Adviser to devise strategies for stopping the activity. 

It was also agreed that the current high cement price was abnormal in some locations nationwide. 

Earlier,  reported that the Federal Government, together with cement manufacturers such as BUA, Dangote and Larfarge, has set the price range for a 50kg bag of cement at N7,000 to N8,000 across various locations in the country.   

Senator David Umahi announced this price adjustment following an extended discussion with key players in the cement industry held in Abuja on Monday.  

Despite the agreed price reduction, manufacturers emphasized that the decrease from the current market rates is contingent upon the government’s commitment to address significant challenges within the sector. 

In the past few weeks, the price of a 50kg bag of cement increased to an all-time high of over N9,500 across different cities in the country.  

The cause of the spike has been attributed to an increase in energy costs and other operational expenses. 

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