FG blames COVID-19, EndSARS protests for soaring cement prices

By The Rainbow

The Federal Government has blamed the soaring prices of cement across the country on last year's #ENDSARS protests and the COVID-19 pandemic which disrupted production flows.

The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Nasir Sani-Gwarzo, who spoke in Abuja on Thrusday, said that the significant events affected the volume of stock levels in the supply chain due to reduction of cash flow of major distributors and high cost of transportation.

Market surveys show that prices of cement and associated products, such as blocks, in many states, including Abuja, have continued to rise.

Prices of the producted almost doubled in some parts of the country, with a 50-kilogramme bag which sold for between N2300 and N2500 last year now rising to as high as N4, 300 in some parts of the country.

The permanent secretary however urged Nigerians not to indulge in panic purchase of cement due to the recent price increase, of product, saying that the Ministry had been working assiduously to engage all the relevant stakeholders in the cement manufacturing sector to address the lingering situation.

According to him, there has been a massive build-up of demand from public works contractors as they are in a hurry to meet milestones and deadlines on projects across the country and Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo, will be engaging with relevant stakeholders in the cement industry with a view to meeting the increased demand of the commodity.

Sani-Gwarzo said, “We urge the public not to embark on panic buying and storage of the product as the current market price is temporary.”