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Nigerian Govt threatens to open border for cement importation

Nigerian Government’s Warning Spurs Talks on Cement Prices.

 

The Nigerian government is considering opening its borders to cement imports as a measure to pressure local manufacturers into reducing prices. Ahmed Dangiwa, the Minister of Housing and Urban Development, issued the warning during an emergency meeting with cement and building materials manufacturers in Abuja.

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Dangiwa emphasized that key input materials for cement production, including limestone, clay, silica sand, and gypsum, should not be priced in dollars as they are locally sourced. He challenged the manufacturers’ reasons for high prices, citing that gas, a crucial raw material, is abundant within the country, and the cost of mining equipment should not be a significant factor as it’s a long-term investment.

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While acknowledging that the border closure aimed to support local manufacturers, Dangiwa cautioned that opening the border for mass importation could lead to a price crash, adversely affecting local producers. He urged manufacturers to show patriotism and follow the example of BUA Cement, which has expressed willingness to lower prices below the agreed range of N7000 to N8000.

Addressing concerns raised by manufacturers about high production costs due to gas prices and mining equipment expenses, Dangiwa stressed the need for unity during crises and called for responsible action to mitigate challenges.

Rabiu Umar, the Group Chief Commercial Officer of Dangote Cement, attributed the price hike to the high costs of gas and mining equipment, highlighting the reliance on forex-related items for cement production despite the availability of some raw materials locally.

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