It is beyond doubt, that too often, the price of cement, one of the most vital building materials in Nigeria is on the increase.
The same unpleasant tale of price hike goes for other building materials like sand, gravel, rods, nails and so on.
For example, a recent market survey shows that the cost of cement per 50kg bag rose from N2600 at the end of last month to around N3500 in the first week of December 2020. This includes the other building materials mentioned above, whose prices have risen by over 10percent.
Although, prices vary
from one location to another within the country , for instance, there has been a sharp increase of about N500 in many parts of Ogun State and other neighboring South West States.
For example, within the Abeokuta metropolis, a 9-inch concrete block which recently sold for N180 has now risen to N220 , while the 6-inch concrete which previously sold for N170 is now N200.
Experts, however, attribute the price fluctuations of cement to the unpredictable and challenging conditions as well as the environment under which major cement manufacturing companies operate in the country.
Another reason, according to industry watchers, is the disruptions in the supply of gas as well as the high cost of Automotive Gas Oil (diesel), as most cement factories depend on energy to run their plants.
Other factors identified are: rising electricity tariffs, difficulty in accessing forex, and government policy inconsistencies.
A building engineer who simply identified himself as Segun said “Concrete work can easily become expensive because many factors go into it, besides the cost of concrete and labour. Other things considered in the final price, include the type of concrete job and project elements that could result in additional work and materials required to complete it.”
However, the end users of the vital building materials still wonder why what is produced locally(cement) on a massive scale is still beyond the reach of the average builder in Nigeria in terms of its cost.