Cement price slash still not common

10 November 2014

A 50kg bag of cement still sells for an average of N1,750 in Lagos, despite last week’s announcement of reduction of price to N1000 by some manufacturers. Investigation also revealed that it could be higher in some states, where distance and other logistic issues affect prices negatively.

Dangote and the BUA groups had announced a price slash to N1000, prompting mixed reactions, even as cement prices remain unchanged.

Giving reasons for this, Samuel Oluwatosin, who sells Dangote Cement at N1,750, said the new price, as announced by the manufacturers, is yet to take effect. Besides, he still had old stock and could not have sold them at a loss.

The Guardian can report that, as at Friday, the cheapest brand of cement was Dangote, as a 50kg bag sold at N1,750; Elephant Cement sold at N1,850, while price of BUA cement also stood within that range.

The cement industry has been fraught with price controversy. The federal government had ordered a reduction in price on May 16, 2011, a declaration that was utterly ignored. Industry experts have expressed concerns over unjustifiable hike in prices of cement not minding the backward integration policy of government.

The price reduction comes on the heels of ongoing debate over standardisation of cement quality as being championed by the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON). Some stakeholders have warned against policies that could foster monopoly.

In the final analysis, it is hoped that the price reduction by the two cement giants will force other manufacturers to follow suit to remain competitive.

By Temiloluwa Adeoye

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