Chairman of BUA Cement Company, Abdulsamad Rabiu, has advised the federal government to grant manufacturing licences to more companies if it desires to lower the price of the essential building commodity.
Mr Rabiu who spoke at the Annual General Meeting of his company on Thursday in Abuja, said that with increased production by additional companies, the prices of cement would tumble.
At the moment, Nigeria has three major cement producers – Dangote Cement, BUA and Lafarge. Their combined 30 million tonnes per annum production does not meet rising local demand.
But Rabiu argues that though an increased number of cement producers would mean more competition for him, the interests of the country and that of its people were paramount.
He, therefore urged the federal government to licence more cement manufacturers with a view to meeting local demand.
“The high price of cement is of great concern to me; the price is actually high. We are 210 million or 220 million people, 30 million tonnes of cement per annum is actually low for us.
“No one can really control the price because it depends on demand and supply. We are trying hard to ensure the price is not as high as it is now.
“Nigeria is growing with a huge economy; we need more plants on stream to cater to the rising demand of cement in the country.
“Egypt produces 85 tonnes of cement per annum and the demand of cement in that country is just 50 million tonnes per annum and that is why prices of cement in Egypt are the lowest on the African continent,’’ Mr Rabiu said.
Rabiu, according to NAN, said his company’s third cement plant in Sokoto would be inaugurated by the end of 2021 while other plants were under construction