Lawmakers at the Senate urged the federal government to offer concessionary loans and larger tax incentives for new investors to boost cement production.
Following a motion by Senator Oyelola Ashiru (APC, Kwara) co-sponsored by five others on Tuesday, they said these incentives would reduce the price of cement and encourage more valuable producers in Nigeria.
Ashiru described the Nigerian cement market as oligopolistic with three players (Dangote Cement (60.6%); Lafarge Africa Plc (21.8%) and BUA Group (17.6%) who are dominating the market and making it susceptible to price-fixing practices.
He said if the status quo persisted, the negative consequences of high prices on the economy would outweigh the benefits of producing cement locally.
According to him, the recent increase in the price of cement (from N2,600 – N3,800) slowed down the amount of construction work being embarked upon thus negatively affecting labour engagement.
Ashiru said, “As of 2018, the installed capacity of cement producers was about 47.8MMT which is far above the estimated (2018) consumption of about 20.7MMT. Yet, the prices of cement in Nigeria in about 240 per cent higher than global average.”