CBN Reduces Cement Prices, Others
Information reaching Ibom Focus says that CBN Reduces Cement Prices
The call for a reduction in prices of cement and other building materials resonated yesterday as President Muhammadu Buhari inaugurated BUA Cement’s new production line facility in Sokoto.
The new BUA Cement Sokoto Line 4 adds three million metric tonnes to Nigeria’s local cement output.
Buhari also did the groundbreaking ceremony of the group’s 5th Cement production Line, which on completion, with another in Edo State, will raise BUA Cement’s output to 17 million metric tonnes.
The President said occasions like the inauguration of the new cement line were an acknowledgement that his administration’s policies on economic diversification, job creation and creating an enabling environment for businesses to thrive were working.
He expressed his administration’s readiness to support serious investors to set up businesses that will take advantage of the opportunities and conducive business environment.
Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele at the event said time was now ripe for building materials producers to consider reducing the price of cement and iron rods, insisting that over 90 per cent of the materials required for the production of these products are sourced locally.
According to him, manufacturers in the construction sector need to take urgent action in bringing down the prices of building materials in Nigeria.
“Indeed, there have recently been calls by construction companies, urging cement and steel manufacturers to do something about the skyrocketing prices of these two essential items in the construction sector. This sector is one of the major sectors in the economy helping to create employment and boost growth in our country. We are aware that some of our cement manufacturers are producing for both the domestic and exports market, but we urge them to pay more attention to satisfying the domestic needs so as to bring down prices,” Emefiele said.
CBN Reduces Cement Prices
He said the success story of cement production in Nigeria was a vindication of the apex bank’s avowed policy of promoting local industries and its denial of official forex funding for 43 items which the apex bank insisted can be produced locally.
”Following the implementation of this new directive, I am pleased to note that the production capacity of the cement industry in Nigeria has doubled from 30 million tonnes in 2014 to about 60 million tonnes in 2021.
“Consequent upon this investment by local businessmen in the cement manufacturing sector, our nation has been able to conserve millions of millions of dollars, as no dollar from our external reserves has been spent on the import of cement into the country in the last six years. Importantly also, these investments have saved and created several thousands of jobs across multiple sectors of the economy,” Emefiele said.
He said the CBN stands ready to support upcoming businesses with requisite local and dollar funding.
“Let me assure current and prospective operators in the industrial sector that the Central Bank of Nigeria stands ready to continue to collaborate with you in enabling the development of a viable manufacturing sector in Nigeria. For those who are willing to invest in new greenfield or existing brownfield projects, the CBN will provide all the support needed, both in Naira and dollars needed to import plants and equipment to actualize these investments,” Emefiele said.
Chairman, BUA Group, Abdul Samad Rabiu, in a welcome address at the event that was attended by Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal and his counterparts from Kwara, Kebbi and the Deputy Governor of Jigawa, and others in the Northwest states, said BUA Group had invested over $1 billion in cement production and would continue to do more until Nigeria becomes self-sufficient in the product.
According to him, in the past six years, the group has completed four plants, two in Obu, Edo State and two in Sokoto of which the Sokoto line 4 is the fourth with BUA’s total production capacity now standing at 11 million tonnes with the completion of the plant.
“Next year, we intend to complete the construction of two new plants of 3 million metric tonnes each for which construction is ongoing – one in Edo and the other here in Sokoto. We expect these plants to be completed next year which will bring our total production capacity to 17 million metric tonnes,” Rabiu said.
He assured that BUA would continue to invest more in the cement industry until Nigeria is self-sufficient and cement is made available, accessible, and affordable for all Nigerians.
He said from a job creation and economic standpoint, the Sokoto plant continues to be the largest private-sector employer of labour in the Northwestern part of Nigeria.
Commending BUA and other entrepreneurs for making Nigeria self-sufficient in cement and a net exporter of the strategic product, the President said: ‘’I always remind Nigerians that every region, indeed every state, in Nigeria sits on huge reserves of resources. For example, in this area, Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara can boast of rice production, gold and other precious metals development and of course, heavy industries like cement manufacturing.
‘’As a government, we introduced policies and mechanisms to support such investments in a legal, ethical and inclusive manner.
‘’For example, we have the National Food Security Council on Food Security Matters and the Presidential Artisanal Gold Mining Development Initiative to develop local artisanal gold mining and ensure health and safety of mining workers and protect the environment.
‘’We remain prepared to support serious investors to set up businesses that will take advantage of these opportunities through value addition so as to take advantage of the huge market here, as well as in the greater African region and the world at large.’’
Highlighting other efforts to bring even development to all parts of the country, the President expressed confidence that the Ajaokuta–Kaduna–Kano (AKK) gas project, when completed, will bring gas for domestic and industrial purposes from the Southsouth region to the Southeast, Northcentral and Northwest Geopolitical zones.
He said the AKK project would significantly reduce the cost of operations for industries in the regions.
In his remarks, Governor Tambuwal pledged to create the enabling environment and provide all necessary support for companies and individuals wishing to establish industries or other viable ventures in the state.
He said the state government would provide land and tax relief to those wishing to venture into manufacturing in the state, adding that the state is endowed with abundant mineral resources waiting to be harnessed.
CBN Reduces Cement Prices