Nigerian construction industry woke up on Saturday to an astronomical 60.5 per cent rise in price of cement, going for N2, 600, a bag from N1, 600, in Lagos and more in other parts of the country.
Most companies handling construction works across the country have threatened to stop all construction works, unless government would intervene by reviewing costs of unfinished works to reflect the reality.
A site engineer with a major firm, Stretaco Construction Company, on Sunday, told Ripples Nigeria in a chat that, if cement price failed to stabilize in the next two months, more than 50 per cent of major construction works in Nigeria would suffer.
“We are yet to come out of the current scarcity of dollars, which is hampering works in the sector, you can imagine what the situation will look like if cement price maintains its rise, as being quoted by suppliers,” he said.
In the same breadth, makers of bricks and blocks said they had already started mobilizing their members to down tools over the price hike, which they confirmed started about two weeks ago.
“The price of blocks and bricks rose by 30 percent in September following a minor price in cement, but with another hike now, prices of blocks and bricks will go up to more than 50 percent, meaning that patronage of our products will further reduce,” said Akinmoladu Olaniyi, president of the Bricks and Blocks Dealers Association.
He said the bricklayers were blaming the system that has created monopoly in dealership of cement in Nigeria for the artificial scarcity of the product in the past months.
According to him since it is only Dangote and Lafarge that are bringing comment into the country of about 200 million people and for a country, which uses more than 70 percent of cement as main component of its construction, the two companies cannot meet the demand chain of the products.
He called for a review of the present arrangement to accommodate as many companies as possible into the business.
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