The Chairman of BUA Cement, Alhaji Abdulsamad Rabiu, has said that the major producers of cement are actively working to reduce the cost of the commodity to boost the nation’s housing sector.
Rabiu stated this to State House correspondents after a closed door meeting with the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, in the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He said the producers’ commitment to reduce the price of cement was in line with the Federal Government’s determination to meet the housing needs of Nigerians in no distant future.
According to him, the foreign exchange situation in the country and the high cost of Low Pour Fuel Oil (LPFO) are largely responsible for the escalating cost of cement in the country.
He, however, assured that some factors which led to the high cost of cement were being addressed by all stakeholders in the building industry.
He noted with delight that the foreign exchange situation had improved dramatically while “the cost of LPFO used by some cement companies including one of our own plants in Sokoto has also come down.
“The cement production requires quite a lot of energy. That is quite a significant part of the cost of cement production.
“That has been addressed to mainly the price of oil, may be the price of LPFO that we use has come down. I’m talking about Sokoto now.
“Of course, the other cement plants scattered all over the country, like the southern part of the country, are using gas which is actually much cheaper. But for Sokoto, for example, we are using LPFO and LPFO is quite expensive.
“We have to transport it either from Lagos or from Kaduna refinery if there is availability. That, you know, from time to time, impacts on the cost.
“But I can assure you that the three major companies producing cement in Nigeria are working very hard to see that the price of cement comes down in the very near future.
“We are trying very hard to make sure the price comes down. Of course, the foreign exchange aspect also improved dramatically. That, as we all know, was a big issue. Now, that has improved considerably.
“So, I think we will see quite a reduction in the very near future,’’ he said.
Rabiu disclosed that he was in the State House to officially invite the acting president to commission BUA Cement Sokoto plant that has almost been completed.
He said: “Well, I don’t think I’m here to discuss policies. Rather, the reason why I came here is to come and pay respect to His Excellency, the Acting President and to also solicit for his support in commissioning one of the projects that we are doing.
“Well, it is a project that we have actually almost completed. It is in Sokoto. It is Sokoto Cement and we are hoping to commission the plant very soon.
“We discussed that and he is looking into it and he’s promised to get back.”