There are fresh increases in the prices of cement-based products effected recently by the manufacturers.
The prices of cement were recently reduced by Dangote Cement Plc, a leading producer of cement in the country by approximately 40 per cent. The move by the market leader slashed cement prices from about N2, 000 or N1, 850 to a price as low as N1, 350 or N1, 400 and N1000 per 50 kilogram bag.
However, the situation has drastically changed in the second quarter of 2016, as there has been undulating increase in price since the month of May according to The Guardian market research. In locations such as; Egbeda, Igando, Ogba, Agege, Sango, and Ikeja in Lagos area, a bag of cement now sells between N1, 550, N1, 600, N1, 700, N1, 800 and N2, 000 across all brands.
The new prices have further slowed down housing construction, real estate activities and increased the prices of other building materials component. For instance, manufacturers of cement-based materials, such as ceiling boards, roofing sheets and concrete products like paving stones, have hiked their prices in reaction to the development.
Speaking on the development, the Chairman of Association of Lagos State Block and Concrete Makers/Cement Dealers (LABCOMA), Agege Local Government Zone, Pastor Timothy Ayo’ola said the increase in the price of cement started about a month now.
He said as at April 2016, the product was sold for N1, 350 but as at June, the association learnt that Dangote and Lafarge have increased the price to N1, 500, later to N1, 550 from the factory and subsequently the product is been sold for N1, 600 at retail sales points.
“A tonne of cement is now sold for N31, 000 from the factory. We learnt that it is because of the downturn in the economy that pushed up the price coupled with the issues of increase in prices of petrol and in virtually everything in the market. Additionally, the challenge in accessing dollar/increase in rate of dollar to Naira also contributed”.
He said the cost of transportation and off-loading the products significantly contributed to the hike in prices as the transporters from the factory increased by N50 on each bag conveyed to the retailers.
“Ever since the hike in price, cement sells has plummeted, people are still building houses but it’s unlike when the price was very low. When the price was still low one buyer may request for 100 bags, 200 bags, 500 bags and we would supply them, but now, demands is between 20 bags, 50 bags, 30 bags respectively. We are only hoping that Dangote and the government would reduce the price and that government should release more monies to circulation, so that we might experience in sales.
“The prices of blocks have been affected too, before we sell six inches block for N130, now goes for N140, and nine inches at N150, N160, N170, N180 “.
Ayo’Ola pointed out that it will only take the fear of God for builders and construction experts to ensure that standards such as the required quantities of ingredients for moulding houses are maintained, hence the possibility of occurrences of more collapse building when standard are not maintained.