Builders within the construction industry have rebuffed the agreement reached between the Federal Government and cement manufacturers,Punch reports.

During the meeting, it was decided that the prices of cement would be reduced to a range of N7,000 to N8,000.

In an exclusive interview with The PUNCH, Dr. Aliyu Wamakko, the President of the Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria, expressed concerns that such a reduction would not be beneficial for the economy. He cited the promise made by the Chief Executive Officer of BUA Cement, Abdul Samad Rabiu, to lower the price to N3,500 by January 1, 2024, questioning the discrepancy.

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Wamakko argued that since most of the components of cement are locally sourced, there’s no justification for the price to exceed N5,000. He emphasized that a reduction to N5,000 per bag is necessary for meaningful progress, as anything above that would hinder the completion of building projects, exacerbating the housing deficit.

Similarly, Toye Eniola, the Executive Secretary of the Association of Housing Corporation in Nigeria, criticized the negotiation, stating that the proposed prices would render housing unaffordable for the poor, widening the gap in housing accessibility.

Eniola advocated for the use of local building materials as a solution to the high cost of imported ones, suggesting alternatives such as interlocking blocks and bamboo, which could significantly reduce construction expenses.

Sola Enitan, the CEO of Cromwell Professional Services International Limited, echoed these sentiments, deeming the reduction insufficient and warning of potential hardships in the housing sector if prices continue to rise.

Jide Odusolu, the CEO of Octo5 Holdings, questioned the earlier promise of a price slash by BUA Cement, emphasizing the need for low-income earners to benefit from government-supported social housing initiatives.

Meanwhile, cement manufacturers, while agreeing to the price reduction, called on the government to address challenges such as gas shortages, import duties, smuggling, and poor road networks.

Overall, stakeholders in the construction industry express dissatisfaction with the proposed cement prices, highlighting concerns about affordability, the economy, and the need for government intervention to address underlying challenges in the sector.


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