The Cement Producers Association of Nigeria (CPAN) has appealed to the Federal Government to lift suspension on cement import licences.
This is contained in a statement signed by the Chairman of the association, Chief David Iweta. According to the statement, lifting of the suspension was the only way to bring down the high price of cement currently being sold at N1, 800 per bag.
He said: “It is unacceptable for Nigerians to buy cement at N1,800 instead of N500 per bag as it is being sold by countries that have attained self sufficiency and net exporter in production.”
CPAN alleged that a group of people was deceiving the Federal Government to believe that Nigeria had attained self sufficiency in the cement production, stressing that the misleading information had resulted to pushing the price from the expected price for locally manufactured cement from about N500 to N1, 800 per bag.
“This prompted the Federal Government to push up the duty and levy on cement import to 35 per cent plus other import bills to a total of 45 per cent on imported cement. It also made the government to suspend all already granted cement import licences such that manufacturers can sell their cement at N1, 800,” the association stated.
The statement further revealed that this action had shut the doors to other players into the industry and had blocked competition in the industry adding that the action had also led to poor quality of the product leading to collapse building and loss of lives.
“We urged the president to suspend all licences to bring down the price of cement to N1, 000 as it was selling during the late President Yar’Adua’s regime with duty and VAT at five and 10 per cent, respectively,” the statement added.