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FG blames Covid, #EndSARS protest for disruption in cement production, price increase

The Federal Government on Wednesday blamed the price hike in the price of cement on the reduction in production volumes in the second and third quarters of 2020 caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic, End-SARs protests which disrupted production in the manufacturing plants.

The government said the development affected the volume of stock levels in the supply chain due to reduction of cash flow of major distributors and high cost of transportation.

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Nasir Sani-Gwarzo gave this information in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja.

Recall, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo had last December met with Cement manufactures in Dei-Dei an outskirt of Nigeria’s capital Territory to discuss solution to price increase ,confirming a discount price has been agreed between the cement manufacturers and the federal government.

But speaking on the development, Sani-Gwarzo cautioned the general public against panic purchase of cement due to the recent price increase of products in some parts of the country.

He said the Ministry has been working assiduously to engage all the relevant stakeholders in the cement manufacturing sector to address the lingering situation.

The Permanent Secretary further noted that there has been a massive build-up of demand from public works contractors as they are in a hurry to meet milestones and deadlines on projects across the country.

To address the situation, he said the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo, would be engaging with relevant stakeholders in the cement industry with a view to meeting the increased demand of the commodity.

He added, “We urge the public not to embark on panic buying and storage of the product as the current market price is temporary.”

He assured the general public that government will continue to be on the alert to its responsibility of ensuring goods and services are available at reasonable prices.

He stated that the ministry will continue to monitor the situation while encouraging them to support market intelligence efforts by making relevant information available on the product.

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