House Of Reps Speak Against Surge In Cement Price


The House of Representatives has voiced concern over the ongoing increase in cement prices, claiming that it is bad for the economy as a whole. At an investigation hearing on the arbitrary increase in cement prices held in Abuja on Tuesday, the House Joint Committee on Solid Minerals, Industry, Commerce, and Special Duties heard testimony from Rep. Benjamin Kalu, the Deputy Speaker.

According to Kalu, cement is still an essential element in the building of buildings, roads, bridges, dams, waterworks, and other essential infrastructure. Based on statistical data, he claimed that Nigeria has a 16.9 million housing shortfall.

“According to the World Bank, Lagos, Ibadan, Kano, and Abuja, have a 20 per cent rise in housing needs yearly.” He said that the total output in the formal housing sector was estimated at not more than 100,000 units.

The lawmaker added that bridging the gap required affordable and accessible cement prices for both the government and the private sector.

He said while factors such as exchange rates had contributed to the rising prices of commodities, it was encouraging to see the value of the naira increasing sharply against the dollar.

“Notably, the naira has shown remarkable strength against the dollar in past weeks, and Fitch Ratings, a global credit rating agency, recently revised Nigeria’s credit outlook to positive from stable.

“We are also dedicated to enacting laws that prevent a recurrence of the factors that led to the current situation,” he said.

Speaking, the Chairman of the committee, Rep. Jonathan Gaza, said the recent hike in the price of cement was worrisome. Nigeria has a high deficit of housing and other infrastructure.

“To close this gap, both government and the private sector must be articulate and deliberate in putting the right policies and parameters in place to encourage development.

“Therefore, should the price of cement which is a major component for infrastructure development continue to soar uncontrollably, the tendency to stifle life out of that sector is high and the consequences very detrimental,” Gaza said.

Leave a Reply