FG set to force down price of cement – Aganga

By The Citizen

The Federal Government, yesterday, said  the second phase of the backward integrated policy will address the issue of pricing of cement in Nigeria and a committee had been set up to work on it.

Speaking through the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, in Abuja, during the 2013 ministerial platform  by Industry, Trade and Investment Ministry, the Federal Government lamented that Nigerians had continued to buy a 50kg bag of cement at very high prices ranging from N1,650 to N1,800.

According to him: 'The committee is working on pricing, control, quality use of cement and export. I can assure you that we are working on that already and we will do everything to ensure that the consumers are protected.'

The Minister said what government was targeting in the first phase of the backward integration policy of cement, was production and availability which he said had been achieved.

According to him: 'The first strategy on backward integration on cement was about availability and production of cement that has been achieved. We were spending more than N250 billion on cement importation before now.

'That figure should have gone up by now and yet we have the raw materials and we were not producing enough.

'We were only producing two million metric tones. We now produce 28 million metric tonnes of cement and we now export because we have achieved availability and production.'

Aganga said government was rigorously implementing the backward integration policy used in the cement industry in other sectors.

The Minister noted that history had shown that no country had ever become rich by exporting raw materials without an industrial sector, and in modern terms, an advanced services sector.

According to him 'the more a country specialises in the production of raw materials only, the poorer it becomes.'