Some operators in the building and construction industry have called for the establishment of more cement manufacturing plants in the country in order to crash the prices of cement.
They told journalists in Lagos that the incessant high cost of cement was as a result of few cement manufacturing plants, saying there was need for the establishment of more plants.
Lewis Ladipo, a former Chairman of the Nigeria Institute of Architects (NIA), Lagos Chapter, said that establishment of cement manufacturing plants would make production of cement more competitive.
According to him, competitiveness helps to reduce price, grow the market and improves the production and quality of goods/services.
Ladipo lamented over the incessant increment in the prices of cement, saying that the hike in cement prices was affecting building construction development.
He also decried the increase in cement prices did not bring along a corresponding increase in its quantity or quality.
“For instance, the services and products of the telecommunication companies are now cheaper and more affordable now because there are many producers in the industry that make the market competitive.
“During the second quarter of 2015, a bag of cement sold for N800 or N1,000 but now, a bag of cement is N2, 800 or N2, 900, depending on the brand.
“Cement is a major component of building materials and that is why any change in its price or availability affects construction activities to a great extent.
“This makes it paramount that more manufacturing plants need to be put in place in order to crash down the price and make cement readily available at all times,” he said.
Contributing, Bamidele Mafimidiwo, Chairman of the Nigeria Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS) Lagos Chapter, said that all the raw materials for cement production ought to be sourced locally for its price to come down.
Mafimidiwo said there were no raw materials used for cement production that could not be found within the country.
“If not all, but at least 90 percent of the raw materials used in cement production can be found in Nigeria and that is an added advantage for the producers.
“But the price of cement will not come down and its production will not be efficient, if there is no steady, fast generation and supply of power/electricity,” he said.
He said that electricity was needed for the production of virtually all goods and services, saying that until electricity supply becomes stable, the prices of most goods might not come down.
Mafimidiwo urged manufacturers of cement to look inward and source raw material needed for cement production locally, in order to reduce cost of production.
Some of the cement plants in Nigeria include, Dangote Cement, Kogi, Benue Cement Company,Benue, Bauchi-Gwana Cement, Bauchi state, Bua Cement, Ukpilla, Edo and Cement Company of Northern Nigeria, also known as Sokoto Cement.