Abdul Samad Rabiu, chairman of BUA Group, says the prices of cement in the country will come down with increased production by more new companies.
Rabiu said this on Thursday in Abuja at the company’s annual general meeting.
Nigeria currently has three major cement producers – Dangote Cement, BUA and Lafarge — with combined 30 million tonnes per annum production capacity.
BUA recently increased its cement price by N200 to N4,000, weeks after raising the hopes of its customers.
There has been a surge in the prices of cement across the country as manufacturers try to pass the high cost of production to cash-strapped consumers, who are already battling with poor purchasing power, rising inflation and stuttering economic growth.
Rabiu admitted that an increase in the number of cement producers in the country would mean more competition for him — but interests of the country and that of its people are paramount.
He urged the federal government to licence more cement manufacturers with a view to meeting local demand.
“The high price of cement is of great concern for me; the price is actually high. We are 210 million or 220 million people, 30 million tonnes of cement per annum is actually low for us,” Rabiu said.
“No one can really control the price because it depends on demand and supply. We are trying hard to ensure the price is not as high as it is now.
“Nigeria is growing with a huge economy; we need more plants on stream to cater to the rising demand of cement in the country.
“Egypt produces 85 tonnes of cement per annum and the demand of cement in that country is just 50 million tonnes per annum and that is why prices of cement in Egypt are the lowest on the African continent.’’