BUA denies cement price hike, accuses retailers of exploiting loopholes
•Surveyors decry high cost of building materials
One of the leading manufacturers, BUA Cement Plc, has stated that it had not and did not intend increasing price of the product, barring any unforeseen circumstance.
According to the firm, the huge difference in the ex-factory price of the commodity and that of retail market was because retailers were taking advantage of increased demand to maximise profit helped by production and supply gaps.
In a statement yesterday, the company confirmed that it had been inundated with calls seeking clarification as to whether it was part of a purported price increase of N300 per bag.
The document read in part: “We stand by our previous statements that the timing is not right for any increase in the price of major commodities while we work towards ramping up our production capacity to ensure that commodities like cement remain accessible and affordable for our consumers.
“While we are aware that demand for cement is high with current supply levels not sufficient to meet this increased demand, we do not believe the solution lies in an increase in ex-factory prices of cement – especially not at this period.
“It is our strong conviction that any increase in prices of major commodities at a time like this is not right – while Nigerians are still trying to recover from the economic consequences brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic – especially for a product for which all raw materials are locally sourced.
“BUA Cement, therefore, wishes to restate that it is not a part of the purported increase in cement prices and, we once again, enjoin and appeal to our distributors, who have been advised, to ensure there are no further arbitrary increases or excessive profit-taking in the retail price of cement.”
IN a related development, the Nigerian Institute of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV), at the weekend, decried the high cost of building materials in the country.
It maintained that if government was desirable of providing affordable housing for the low and medium-income earners, as well as the less privileged and vulnerable people, special attention must be paid to the exorbitant prices of building materials.
President/Chairman of the National Council of NIESV, Chief Emmanuel Wike, made the submission during a press conference to mark the fifth council meeting of the body in Benin City, Edo State.
He noted that inadequate electricity supply had also contributed immensely to Nigeria’s under-development over the years.
The NIESV boss regretted that an economy of 180 million population and some 12,500 megawatts of installed capacity could only transmit between 3,500 and 5000 megawatts to the final consumer.
The continued tinkering with the structures of power supply and distribution in addition to several billions of dollars expended since 1999, he noted, had only brought darkness, frustration and misery upon Nigerians.
He added that about 60 per cent of the total cost of construction goes into building materials.
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