Change must affect all areas of Nigeria, no more impunity. Cement manufacturers under the aegis of Cement Producers Association of Nigeria, CPAN, have called on President-Elect, Muhammadu Buhari to assist them in fighting corruption in the sector allegedly perpetrated by a cabal “that has been dictating cement policies for personal interests.”
In a tacit reference to popular businessman and President of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, they specifically pleaded with Buhari to assist in reducing the price of cement from N2,200 to N1,000 per bag.
This appeal when considered, CPAN said, will be the first dividend of change for all Nigerians.
The Chairman of CPAN, Prince David Iweta, in a letter to Buhari dated March 3congratulating him on his victory in the recently-concluded general elections and obtained by journalists on Wednesday in Abuja, said cement should be allowed to be imported into Lagos, Warri and Calabar.
He said, “This cabal makes abnormal annual profit in the region of N200 billion from cement alone for the past six years while same company partnered with the Federal Government to suspend cement import permit granted by late President Musa Yar’Adua to six companies one each from each of the geo-political zones owing to late President Yar’Adua’s fairness, equity and justice style of governance to guarantee that cement sell at N1.000 per bag to Nigerians.
“We wish to use this medium to appeal to you and your government at inauguration to declare a change of price of cement from N2,200 per bag to N1,000 per bag. This will serve as the first dividend of change which the people of Nigeria voted for. The cement industry after the death of late President Musa Yar’Adua has witnessed the worst height of corruption and injustice for the past six years.
“It may interest the General to know that Nigeria is the country with the highest price of cement in the world. Why? It is worthy of mention that countries that have attained self sufficiency in cement production all over the world sell cement at N500 per bag. But in Nigeria where the Federal Government has claimed success in the cement industry, net exporter of cement is selling the commodity at N2,200 per bag.
“But not a bag is exported since 2012 as claimed. Why? It is a known fact that all West Africa countries, East, North and South Africa sell cement under N1,000 per bag; but in Nigeria, it is selling for N2,200.
Why? new foreign direct investors are barred from venturing into the Nigeria cement industry since the past six years. So that cement price will remain high. Why?”